Interpol Posts Wanted Notice for Chea Ratha

Interpol on Tuesday posted a wanted notice on its Web site for the fugitive Chea Ratha, a former military police official sought by police for her alleged involvement in a May acid attack.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court issued a warrant for 43-year-old Chea Ratha on May 14 for her alleged connection to a May 6 acid attack that seriously disfigured Ya Soknim, 35, the aunt of Chea Ratha’s lover, In Solyda.

According to Interpol’s online “red notice,” which shows a picture of Chea Ratha, she is wanted for “crimes against life and health.”

Keo Vannthan, director of Cam­bodia’s Interpol office, said Tues­day that in addition to the Web site posting, Thailand, where Chea Ratha is believed to be hiding, has posted wanted notices throughout the country.

“Thai authorities and police have posted Chea Ratha’s picture everywhere. Now they can arrest her and bring her back to Cambodia,” he said, adding that he expects that Chea Ratha will be arrested soon.

Chea Ratha’s diplomatic passport has been canceled by the Cam­bodian Foreign Affairs Minist­ry and her Thai visa has expired, Keo Vannthan said.

Chea Ratha could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but she claimed by telephone from Thailand recently that she was innocent and suggested that men who were jealous of her relationship with In Solyda might be responsible for the attack.

In Yanna, 23, a nephew of Ya Soknim, said he was happy Interpol posted Chea Ratha’s picture on its Web site. “It is the role of the law, and we cannot violate the law,” he said, adding that his sister In Solyda was still in hiding.

Ya Soknim, who lost an ear and an eye in the attack, is still recovering at a hospital in Vietnam, where doctors are treating her burns.

Authorities have charged Chea Ratha’s former assistant, municipal penal police officer Ear Puthea, in the attack, and are still searching for three of her bodyguards over their alleged involvement.

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