Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Law enforcement strives for better forensics

Law enforcement strives for better forensics

Law enforcement strives for better forensics

In an effort to shore up the evidence trail in rape cases, doctors throughout

the country have been trained in the use of a new standardized medical

examination form.

The incidence of sexual assault against women and

children is disturbingly high in Cambodia, but conviction rates remain

relatively low, with lack of evidence adding to the usual judicial complaints of

corruption, intimidation of victims and out of court settlements.

"Often

the suspect is released by the court because of a lack of evidence, even though

we know the victim has been raped ... so now we're working on the forensic

evidence," said Christian Guth, a law enforcement advisor to the Ministry of

Interior's Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department. "If the

file is really heavy with hard facts it makes it more difficult for the judge to

release [the suspect]."

The eight-page medical examination form can be

requested by investigating police and used by the judge, prosecutor and lawyers

for the victim and suspect.

On September 15, the donor-funded Law

Enforcement Against Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Children project held

a workshop involving 100 doctors from Phnom Penh and each province to explain

the new form and how it is to be used.

Better use of medical evidence is

part of a training effort that has seen specialized police learn interview

techniques for both victims and suspects, improve their search practices and

receive equipment such as field investigating kits and cameras.

The

Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department is based in Phnom Penh

and has 11 provincial branches.

From the start of this year to August 31,

police from the department investigated 351 cases of rape or sexual assault,

resulting in 251 arrests, said Guth, who was confident that with improved

policing and medical evidence a large of number of cases would result in

convictions.

Last year, local human rights group LICADHO investigated 177

complaints of rape and indecent assault, resulting in just five trials and four

convictions.

Of those victims, LICADHO said that 78 percent were under

18 years old, with almost 9 percent five years or younger.

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • Quarantine still a must for all arrivals, in next Covid chapter

    Since early May, an average of five to 10 Cambodian people have died from Covid-19 a day with many others testing positive amid the ongoing community outbreak. At the same time, however, hundreds of patients also recovered a day. The first Covid-19 case in Cambodia was

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth

  • First commercial gold mine online

    Australian miner Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd on June 21 began the commercial operation of its $120 million Okvau Gold Project in the northeastern province of Mondulkiri, becoming the Kingdom’s first gold producer. Located in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province’s Keo Seima district, the