Okhna Wife Tried for Torturing Teenage Girls

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday heard the case of the 50-year-old wife of a wealthy businessman who is accused of torturing two girls she allegedly adopted more than a decade ago.

The two victims, Som Phally, 20, and Sam Sokunthea, 18, escaped from the house of Veng Techla in February 2013, after years of beatings, torture and confinement, they claimed.

“I tried to escape from the house two times when I was tortured. I was beaten on the body with a cloth hanger and detained inside the house,” Ms. Phally told the court.

“When Ms. Pov was not happy with our work in the house, we were tortured. She didn’t send us to school and now we are uneducated,” Ms. Sokunthea said. Ms. Pov’s defense lawyer Put Theavy said that the two girls had been like daughters to his client.

“She didn’t torture them…. I reject the charges and request that [they be dropped],” Mr. Theavy said.

Presiding Judge Kor Vandy said that the verdict will be announced on May 2. Ms. Pov remains on the run.

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