Official Defends Release of Accused Pedophile

A senior Interior Ministry official on Tuesday defended his wife’s de­cision as director of the Light­house Orphanage to bail out a British national who was detained Friday on suspicion of sexually as­saulting children at the center.

Ky Kim Long, deputy secretary general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, said he supported his wife, Chea Savy, and her decision to bail Michael Leach, 44, out of po­lice custody after 10 hours of questioning over abuse complaints lodged by five children from the orphanage.

“I know the story because we are husband and wife…. If [Leach] was wrong, nobody would protect him,” Ky Kim Long said.

Keo Thea, deputy chief of the mu­nicipal anti-trafficking and juvenile protection unit, said Monday that Leach is accused of abusing child­ren at the orphanage and mas­­querading as a doctor.

Deputy Prosecutor Nget Sarath said Tuesday that Leach’s case was submitted on Monday to Chief Prosecutor Ouk Savuth, who will decide whether to charge him.

All evidence has been submitted to the chief prosecutor, in­cluding girls’ underwear and a school uniform found in Leach’s ho­tel room, he said.

Ouk Savuth refused comment Tuesday.

Interviewed at the Lighthouse Or­­phanage on Monday, where he was invited to return by center ma­na­ger Bin Long after release, Leach admitted to impersonating a doctor and examining children.

In a letter Tuesday, Leach al­leged that one of his child ac­cus­ers had lodged a complaint against him following suggestions by hu­man rights workers.

To support his claim that he posed as a doctor for altruistic reasons, Leach wrote “I work­ alongside DFID [Britain’s Department for International Development], and I attend meetings of United Nations agencies.”

A British Embassy official who de­clined to be named refuted Leach’s claim regarding the DFID.



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