Five weeks passed before arrest warrant in Pursat rape-murder

After waiting more than five weeks for Pursat Provincial Court to issue an arrest warrant in the rape and murder of a deaf 18-year-old, police said they are now organizing a search for the suspect.

The suspect, whom police would not name, allegedly raped and then murdered Yos Theary with an ax and stone in a forest near her home in Veal Veng district’s Anlong Reap commune on May 13.

Ros Bunnan, deputy provincial penal police chief, said that although police requested on May 20 that the court issue a warrant, the court did not do so until late last month.

The court took “a little bit of a long time” issuing a warrant for the 36-year-old suspect, he said, adding that the court was busy with a large workload.

“Being late is an issue, because it gives the suspect a chance to flee and commit other crimes and it would bring insecurity to other residents,” he said.

“Now I am sending the arrest warrant to all the provinces for help seeking the suspect,” said Mr Bunnan.

Thong Ol, the provincial court president, defended the court’s actions.

“It did not take a long time to issue the arrest warrant in this case. The judge needed to investigate more evidence,” he said.

Police in Kandal province are still waiting for Kandal Provincial Court to issue an arrest warrant they requested five weeks ago for the suspect who allegedly raped and strangled to death 17-year-old Phorn Kemly in Koh Thom district’s Loeuk Dek commune on April 4th, police said.

“The prosecutors are working on the case now. We have to follow the procedure of the law in order to arrest the suspect,” said Ros Savin, the chief of the provincial anti-human trafficking bureau.

Though last month he said the court was moving “too slowly,” he declined yesterday to criticize the court.

“Police do not have the right to criticize the court. Police are just waiting to get the arrest warrant and follow procedure,” he said.

Kandal provincial prosecutor Ouk Kimseth declined to comment.

Kong Sam Onn, program director of the Cambodia Center for Human Rights, said delays in issuing arrest warrants are common.

“It is unjust if the court has enough evidence but does not issue an arrest warrant,” he added.


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