The lawyer of a 19-year-old high school student who has accused a district police chief in Kompong Chhnang province of raping her says her client will appeal a prosecutor’s decision to close the case without explanation.
A copy of an August 21 statement from provincial court prosecutor You Tithvatanak, provided by the woman’s family, offers no reason for the closing of the case against Hul Veasna, who was the police chief of Kompong Tralach district at the time of the alleged attacks.
“We have decided to close the case without processing it,” says the statement, which also invites the plaintiff to appeal the decision.
The woman’s lawyer, San Soudalen, said she would do just that.
“We are going to appeal 100 percent,” she said yesterday. “We are preparing the document to appeal early this week.”
Ms. Soudalen said police delivered the decision to the family on October 4 and that they had only told her about it recently.
Mr. Tithvatanak could not be reached for comment.
Mr. Veasna, who was removed from his position following the accusation, welcomed the prosecutor’s decision.
“The court has provided me with justice because I did not do what I was accused of,” he said. “It is a win for everyone and it is not a big deal.”
Since his suspension, Mr. Veasna has been performing menial administrative tasks at the provincial police headquarters. His boss, provincial police chief Prak Vuthy, said he did not yet know if Mr. Veasna would be given another post but insisted that he would not get his old job back.
The alleged victim’s sibling said her younger sister was still emotionally scarred from the attack and accused the court of dropping the case because of Mr. Veasna’s position.
“I think authorities cannot find justice for our family because the suspect is a police officer,” the sister said.
“My sister is still scared,” she added. “She has dropped out of school and does not dare to go outside to meet her friends.”