The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday questioned two 17-year-old girls about their complaint against a Phnom Penh tycoon and his wife, both of whom anti-trafficking police said had been charged with torture and child labour abuse.
Although allegations have focused on tycoon Veng Lyphytech wife’s, Ly Pov, who allegedly subjected the girls to frequent physical abuse for about a decade in the couple’s Phnom Penh mansion, Pol Pithey, chief of the Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Police, said that Lyphytech also faced charges.
“The reason why we decided to send charges against oknha [Lyphytech] along with his wife to the court is because he broke his promise to the police; he failed to bring his wife to our police office for questioning,” he said.
Lyphytech’s wife, Pov, fled after the allegations against her surfaced in late February. The court issued a warrant for her arrest, but Pithey said her whereabouts were still unknown.
Police had always intended to charge the couple together but had hoped Lyphytech would help them locate Pov before they made the charges against him public, Pithey said.
“Our police now are waiting to receive the warrant from the court,” he said.
“If we receive the court’s warrant for the tycoon’s arrest, we will take action soon.”
A court clerk who asked not to be named told the Post that deputy prosecutor Meas Chanpiseh had asked the two girls to clarify their complaint against both Lyphytech and Pov.
“[The prosecutor] finished questioning them today,” he said yesterday.
Hang Sayon, investigation team leader for anti-trafficking group SISHA, which is managing the girls’ legal case, said one girl had asked for 100 million riel ($25,000) in compensation.
Deputy prosecutor Chanpiseth did not answer calls yesterday. Neither Lyphytech nor his lawyer could not be contacted for comment.
To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at [email protected]