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Prison official frustrated by 16-year-old’s release rumours

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Pich Sros, the Cambodian Youth Party president and a Consultation Forum member, speaks to members of the press at the National Election Committee in 2017. POST PIX

Prison official frustrated by 16-year-old’s release rumours

A senior official from the General Department of Prisons expressed regret on Wednesday that misinformation resulted in the public and a prominent politician questioning whether the suspect in a recent fatal road accident had been released.

The statement came after Pich Sros, the Cambodian Youth Party president and a Consultation Forum member, visited Phnom Penh’s Police Judiciaire (PJ) prison, where 16-year-old Yin Mana is being detained, to ensure that she continued to be held there after rumours of her release.

Mana was involved in a hit-and-run car accident in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district on March 26 in which she drove her father’s Range Rover into university student Dum Rida, who died at the scene.

The accident drew outrage from the public after footage of the mishap emerged online, with calls for Mana to be brought to justice.

Three days later, on March 29, she turned herself in, accompanied by her father Yin Geck.

General Department of Prisons spokesperson Nuth Savna told The Post on Wednesday that the rumours of her release are entirely false.

“The court ordered her [Mana’s] detention, so we have already detained her. We already executed the verdict of the court, so I do not know why they are claiming we haven’t. Perhaps he [Sros] wanted to be popular because the event drew much attention from the public,” Savna said.

He said Sros’ inspection of the prison was unnecessary and unfair on the young woman.

“They asked us to photograph the charged person in the prison to show the public. But how does this impact the charged person who is yet to be convicted?"

“We have to respect the human rights and the dignity of the charged person who has yet to be sentenced by the court. We are still in a phase of implementing procedures . . . the detention is only provisional,” Savna said.

Pich Sros told The Post on Wednesday that he saw Mana being held in the prison, adding that she was in poor health.

“The people saw a variety of pictures and I wanted to know the truth, so I inspected the prison. I saw the charged person being held in PJ prison. The authorities have implemented the law correctly in accordance with the verdict of the investigating judge,” he said.

On March 29, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court charged Mana with “driving recklessly, negligence, carelessness, killing others” in accordance with Article 85 of the Traffic Law.

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