Debtors Allege They Were Detained Illegally

The lawyer of a woman who says she and her husband were illegally detained by her creditors filed a complaint with the Appeals Court Monday, asking that the six suspects be arrested and jailed.

Two of the six suspects, Son Muoyni, 43, and Son Chanthy, 42, were detained Aug 31 and re­leased Sept 20 after Phnom Penh Municipal Court investigating Judge Sor Suphary dropped the charges of illegally detaining Sieb Sithat and her husband, Chhoy Heng. The other four suspects, Mann Sovann, 36, Mao Sokha, 38, Khy Sokmeng, 35, and Chheng Theavy, 22, were never detained.

In the Sept 20 decision, Sor Su­phary cited testimonials from monks, residents and a village chief from Kompong Cham pro­vince on behalf of the two defendants who were detained at that time. Sieb Sithat’s lawyer decried that decision Monday.

“The decision to drop the char­ges is so unjust because the judge made the decision based on monks’ and locals’ signatures,” Theng Meng Y said.

“The judge who issued the warrant for arrest was also the one who released them,” he said. “The court detained only two suspects. The court is difficult…. It might be said that this case may have involved bribes.”

Sieb Sithat filed her initial complaint Aug 30, accusing the six suspects of threatening her and trying to force her to alter an agreement to say she owed them $925.

She said she incurred a debt of $200 to Son Muoyni and Son Chanthy in 1995, but on July 23 of this year agreed to pay a total of $350, Theng Meng Y said.

Sieb Sithat and her husband went from Phnom Penh to Kom­pong Cham on that date and were illegally detained until evening, when they were allowed to return home after agreeing to the $350 compromise, Theng Meng Y said. He added that illegal human detention carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. Judge Sor Su­phary could not be contacted for comment Monday.

Related Stories

Latest News