Wednesday, December 14, 2011

By Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A former military officer of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) who worked in Prime Minister Hun Sen’s bodyguard unit was arrested on Saturday and charged with counts of rape, breach of trust and fraud by the Kandal Provincial Court.
Prosecutor of the court Ouk Kimseth said 57-year-old Chea Chan Sophal, also known as Chanputrithy, was charged based on the complaints of three women and one man, tying the suspect to rape as well as using his previous status as a military officer as leverage to illegally obtain possessions.
“He was already charged by the court after the completion of his questioning last week,” he said.
Kandal provincial police officer Sath Saroeun said the suspect would allegedly wear his old RCAF uniform to make it appear he was an active officer and in turn use this false pretense of authority to borrow individual’s belongings without returning them.
A 20-year-old woman in Kampong Thom is accusing Chea Chan Sophal of raping her in 2010. A 28-year-old shop owner in Kandal province claims the suspect borrowed several thousand US dollars worth of construction materials, but refused to pay. Another victim, a 20-year-old man, claims the suspect borrowed his motorbike at the beginning of this year and has yet to return it.
“He is now staying at the provincial court where he is awaiting his trial,” said Ouk Kimseth.

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