Suspected British Pedophile Still Yet to Be Charged

The Briton suspected of sexually abusing children in Kandal province again appeared at Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday and was again remanded back into police custody without being charged.

The court has yet to charge the four suspects who were arrested Sunday night in Kandal’s Kien Svay district, according to deputy prosecutor Keu Bunnara.

The reason for the delay in charging the suspects that include Michael Leach, 50, was due to the number of suspects questioned, the complicated nature of the case and delays in acquiring a translator for Mr Leach, said Mr Bunnara late yesterday afternoon.

“All of them are not face with release on bail because the case is very serious,” Mr Bunnara said. “The court will charge them Thursday morning because we still did not question…the suspects.”

Mr Leach’s lawyer Theng Meng Y also said the delays were because the court was busy and the number of suspects in the case needed to be questioned. He also added that his client didn’t have the money to acquire a translator and the court had to find one for him.

Mr Leach was arrested on suspicion of having sex with three girls aged 11 to 16. The arrest was his second in Cambodia. He was briefly detained on the suspicion of abusing girls in a Phnom Penh orphanage in 2005 while posing as a doctor.

During an interview Tuesday afternoon at the Phnom Penh municipal anti-trafficking police station in Tuol Kok district, Mr Leach told a reporter he was suffering psychological instability.

“I rather not discuss the case, I’m sorry. I suffer from post-traumatic disorder,” he said. “I’m already having psychiatric treatment in the UK.” (additional reporting by Donald Jae Lee)

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