Officer’s Family Says He’s a Victim of Higher-Ups

The family of municipal minor crime police deputy chief Ly Rasy —who is charged with two killings and two attempted killings—pro­claim­­­ed his innocence Monday, al­leg­ing that he is caught up in a dis­pute between more powerful off­icials.

Ly Rasy’s wife, Nguy Sor­oath­ana, 34, said her husband was jail­ed in an attempt to indirectly attack former Phnom Penh municipal po­lice commissioner Heng Pov, who was abruptly removed on Jan 13 by way of promotion to a position of undersecretary of state at the In­terior Ministry.

“They cannot do anything to Heng Pov, so they do it to my husband,” Nguy Soroathana said.

She also criticized local news re­ports for exaggerating and distorting the facts of her husband’s case in recent days.

Ly Rasy’s two Tuol Kok district villas were searched Saturday in con­nection with the deaths of Duong Sopheap, a young woman al­legedly killed while in police de­tention last year, and Judge Sok Sethamony in 2003.

He is also ac­cused of attempting to kill Municipal Court Prosecutor Ouk Savouth and Na­tional Mil­itary Police Com­man­der Sao Sok­ha.

“All accusations in the newspapers are invented,” Nguy Sor­oath­ana said.

“These are all disputes between Sao Sokha, [National Police Com­mis­sioner] Hok Lundy and [In­ter­ior Ministry penal police department first deputy chief] Mok Chito with Uncle Heng Pov,” she said.

Hok Lundy and Heng Pov have both denied having a personal dispute.

Despite a public argument in a crowded restaurant with Heng Pov in Dec 12, 2003, Sao Sokha also de­nied on Monday having a dispute with the city’s former po­lice chief.

Mok Chito declined comment.

Commenting on newspaper re­ports that $200,000 was found in Ly Rasy’s bank book during the po­lice search on Saturday, Nguy Sor­oath­ana said the money be­long­ed to Heng Pov.

Heng Pov confirmed Monday that the money was his.

“It’s my money, but I took it all back already,” Heng Pov said.

“The account only has $800 in it now. The balance was $200,000. It was my money that I allowed Ly Rasy to control,” he added.

“It’s a long story, so I would prefer to just allow the government to audit me,” Heng Pov said of the origins of the money.

Nguy Soroathana said the mon­ey was intended to buy construction materials for a Kandal prov­ince CPP office in Kien Svay district’s Banteay Dak commune.

Nguy Soroathana also denied media reports that the home where she and Ly Rasy lived cost $1 million. Rather, she said, it was purchased for $140,000.

Ly Rasy sold his second villa to his mother for $80,000, though it remained in his name, she said, adding that she did not know the amount of her husband’s salary, but that she earned more money than he did, taking commissions on bets.

A three-star police general said on condition of anonymity that his monthly salary is $42.50 plus clothing, gasoline and 23 kg of rice.

Koh Santepheap Daily newspaper reported Monday that Ly Rasy’s family had multiple bank accounts, a charge that the family denies. Both Ly Rasy’s wife and sister, who declined to be named, said that media reports had also been incorrect on a variety of other counts.

Koh Santepheap editor-in-chief Chea Sayna said he knows who is thought to be ultimately responsible for the crimes committed by some 10 police officials arrested in recent weeks, but had agreed not to reveal it to the public at the request of Hok Lundy.

“I know the truth but wait for the police investigation first,” Chea Say­na said by telephone.

“The national police commissioner sent a representative to meet me requesting that I not publish who stands behind this,” he added.


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