Lawyer Seeks Charges Against Aid Worker

A lawyer for the adoptive parents of a 7-year-old girl has filed an appeal asking authorities to reinstate illegal confinement charges against human rights activist Naly Pilorge.

Khiev Sepphan, lawyer for the adoptive parents, said Wednes­day the family is appealing the case on the grounds that Licad­ho, the NGO Naly Pilorge heads, “intimidated” the girl and “Licad­ho used its power as an internationally [recognized] NGO to detain the girl.”

A lower court dismissed those charges, which stem from a Feb­ruary 2001 case in which Licadho gained custody of the girl after learning of allegations of abuse.

Authorities filed the original charges last October, accusing Naly Pilorge of confining the girl against the will of the adoptive parents. The girl has been in Licadho’s custody since Feb 15, 2001. The lower court dropped the charges after determining Naly Pilorge had the child’s best interests in mind.

If the adoptive parents lose the case here, they will pursue it in France, where the adoptive mother is a citizen, Khiev Sepphan said.

“It is their right to appeal the case,” said Naly Pilorge. “But there is no legal basis for the accusations and I was very pleased with what the municipal court concluded.”


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