Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Year’s first acid attack to trial

Year’s first acid attack to trial

Year’s first acid attack to trial

A 26-year-old woman accused of attacking her sleeping husband with acid on Tuesday in Banteay Meanchey will be the third person tried under the Acid Law, a court official and NGO said yesterday.

In what was the first recorded attack this year, Tor Rachany allegedly threw acid on Hak Ay, 41, after he threatened to divorce her during an argument, authorities said on Wednesday.

Rachany will be tried under Article 20 of the Acid Law, accused of intentionally violent use of concentrated acid, provincial deputy prosecutor Long Cheap said.

The maximum sentence is five years paired with a potential fine of 10 million riel ($2,500).

However, lengthier terms can be handed down to those who plan the attack in advance, stage an ambush or commit torture before or during the attack.

Ay was transferred yesterday from Sisophon Referral Hospital to Mongkol Borei Referral Hospital because of the severity of his injuries, said Sin Sarou, an emergency department officer.

“We are concerned with his left eye because it was so seriously attacked by the acid and may be lost,” Sarou said.

Mongkol Borei Referral Hospital officials could not be reached yesterday.

“We’re monitoring the situation so we can follow up with the survivor and offer medical and psychological support,” said Erin Bourgois, program manager at the Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity.

Passed in November 2011, the Acid Law, which imposed harsh new sentences for perpetrators, was designed to deter attacks. Statistics suggest that it has been successful. The reported number of acid attacks fell dramatically to just three in 2013, since peaking at 27 in 2010.

But while reported acid attacks have decreased significantly, sentences have been handed down in only two instances under the new law.

The first case, in Kampong Cham, saw a man sentenced to a decade in prison and fined $5,000 in June 2012 for brutally dousing a woman in acid, while the second, in Phnom Penh, saw a man sentenced in January 2013 to five years for throwing battery acid at his ex-wife after she told him she planned to remarry.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,