Monday, 9 November 2009

Police to investigate rape allegations against officer

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Monday, 09 November 2009 15:01 Chrann Chamroeun

Phnom Penh police will pursue legal action against an officer who stands accused of raping a woman in a karaoke bar, the capital’s police chief said Sunday.

Municipal police Chief Touch Naruth said the investigation against police officer Uong Dara, 43, will be sent to Municipal Court. In the meantime, the accused officer should be sacked, he said.

“I already requested the district to fire him and am now preparing to file the rape case in court,” he said.

Uong Dara is acccused of raping a 22-year-old woman on October 30 in a Meanchey district karaoke parlour.

Touch Naruth said the accused officer paid the woman US$250, expecting the complaint would be dropped. The woman has since left the capital without leaving behind any contact information, thereby complicating the investigation, he said.

The police chief denied previous media reports that suggested investigators would drop their case against the accused officer because the victim was not a virgin.

“It is not true,” Touch Naruth said. “Even if she was a prostitute or a sex worker who is sexually abused, they must absolutely be sent to court.”

An advocate with local human rights group Adhoc praised the police pledge to sack the officer, but urged the courts to prosecute him as well.

“The man must be brought before the courts to face a criminal charge,” said Lim Mony, chief of the the women’s programme for Adhoc.

Touch Naruth would not give a timeline for when the case would be sent to court. The Post was unable to confirm details on any investigation against another man, who is not a police officer, alleged to have been involved in the attack.

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