In Assertions About Rape Case, APLE Is Not Being Honest

As a voluntary legal adviser to David Fletcher, I challenge APLE lawyer Chea Nara’s assertion that her organization “has never seen or received any evidence that changed its opinion about the girl’s victimization.”

This statement—made in a letter to the editor responding to the article “Convicted Rapist Insists Retrial Will Prove His Innocence” (September 15)—is both misleading and untrue.

On September 8, 2010, APLE received a medical report, commissioned by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, stating that the alleged victim’s hymen was intact—-that she was a virgin—despite having allegedly been raped twice by Mr. Fletcher.

Did this medical report not raise any questions at all with APLE’s legal team about the veracity of the alleged victim’s statement to the police regarding her rape?

This doctor’s report was entered into evidence by APLE in a closed trial in 2011. The judges determined that the alleged victim’s hymen must have grown back.

In November last year, I personally handed APLE’s lawyer, San Sony, a USB drive that had on it two interviews I had conducted with the alleged victim and her mother. Both asserted in the interview (for which three other journalists were present) that no rape had taken place; that the charges were laid after they had been told that they stood to receive a substantial amount of money in compensation.

If Chea Nara “fully supports that Mr. Fletcher…be granted a retrial,” why didn’t he instruct APLE lawyer San Sony to support Mr. Fletcher’s application for a retrial so that the alleged victim’s evidence could be tested in court?

James Ricketson, Phnom Penh

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