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Top Khmer lawyer agrees to take Scott

Top Khmer lawyer agrees to take Scott

GAVIN Scott, the British doctor in T3 prison for more than three months on

a rape charge, has secured the services of a leading Cambodian lawyer to represent

him at his trial.

Dr Heng Vong Bunchhat - a member of Cambodia's Council of Jurists, former dean of

Phnom Penh's faculty of law and an adviser to both co-Prime Ministers - has agreed

to represent Scott.

Bunchhat is the second addition to Scott's defence team, after Cambodian Defenders

Project co-founder Joyce Bang agreed to take his case.

Bang said this week that she and Bunchhat would jointly represent Scott.

Oum Samuel, the Charto NGO's administrative manager who had previously been defending

Scott, was no longer involved.

She said Samuel had been given the opportunity to assist herself and Bunchhat but

had declined on the basis he was too busy with other work.

Bang said Bunchhat had agreed to take Scott's case out of concern that the doctor

was treated fairly by the justice system.

Meanwhile, Scott's trial - which had been tentatively set for October 3 - has been

delayed.

Bang said she had filed a motion to postpone it further "because the facts have

changed a lot and we need to prepare [the defence]."

A request would also be made for the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to reconsider its

previous declining of bail for Scott.

Meanwhile, an alleged accomplice of Scott's - who was charged following a complaint

against him relating to sexual violation of under-age boys - has reportedly escaped

after being arrested.

Sotunt Vitah, who is understood to be Scott's former cook and cleaner, was arrested

last week on an arrest warrant issued in June.

But he is said to have left from the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Sept 30 after

being left alone briefly.

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