Archive for November, 2009

Appeal Date Set In Chea Ratha Acid Case

November 7, 2009 Leave a comment

Tuesday, 27 October 2009 15:03 LAURA SNOOK

An appeal against the acquittal of a former Military Police official accused of involvement in a brutal acid attack against her lesbian lover’s aunt will be heard Wednesday, a court official confirmed Monday.

The appeal was lodged after Chea Ratha, former deputy chief of staff of the Military Police, was found not guilty of masterminding the May 2008 attack that left Ya Soknim, the aunt of prominent beauty queen In Soklyda, scarred for life.

The verdict, announced August 31, was jointly condemned by human rights groups Licadho and the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights (CCHR).

In a statement released to the media September 2, Licadho director Naly Pilorge said: “What is so shocking in this case is the judges’apparent total disregard of evidence against Chea Ratha and her alleged accomplices.”

Evidence received by Phnom Penh Municipal Court during the yearlong investigation included recordings of phone calls in which Chea Ratha threatened to kill In Soklyda’s relatives, logs of telephone calls for Chea Ratha and her co-defendants on the day of the attack, and a report confirming that acid was found in the home of one of Chea Ratha’s associates, Licadho and CCHR said.

Chea Ratha’s lawyer, Nach Try, said his client – who is believed to have left the country – would not be present at the hearing, the date of which was confirmed by Court of Appeal Deputy President Chuon Sunleng.

Neither Ya Soknim nor In Soklyda could be reached for comment.

Acid Attack Appeal Scheduled

November 7, 2009 Leave a comment

Friday, 23 October 2009 15:02 Mom Kunthear

Photo by: TRacey Shelton


AN appeal lodged in the case of a former Military Police official accused of involvement in a brutal acid attack against the aunt of her lesbian lover will be heard at the end of this month, a court official said Thursday.

Chuon Sunleng, deputy president of the Court of Appeal, said the hearing had been scheduled for the end of October, though he could not recall the precise date.
Chea Ratha, former deputy chief of staff of the Military Police, was charged with masterminding the May 2008 acid attack on Ya Soknim, the aunt of beauty queen In Soklyda, with whom she had been romantically involved. The relationship had turned sour earlier that year, and Chea Ratha blamed Ya Soknim for helping In Soklyda go into hiding, according to accounts of the case provided by rights groups.

The attack was allegedly carried out by two men on a motorcycle, who accosted Ya Soknim and poured acid over her face and upper body. She suffered severe burns as a result, losing her right eye and breast.

The Municipal Court acquitted Chea Ratha and five other suspects last month in a ruling that was condemned by rights groups.

Hong Sopheak, the lawyer for Ya Soknim and In Soklyda, said he did not know whether his clients would attend the hearing because they were out of the country.

He declined to comment on the case beyond saying that he believed the Municipal Court’s verdict was unjust and should be overturned.

Keo Ya, the lawyer for Chea Ratha, said Thursday that his client was also out of the country and had not asked him to represent her for the appeal.

Ecuadorian Trek

November 7, 2009 Leave a comment

Tim and I had an encouraging, enjoyable, and we believe productive

time in Ecuador.  Our travel via air and land were rather uneventful

with the exception of riding crowded buses on some very steep grades

and crooked roads which, as you may have guessed, provided just the

right conditions for car sickness to abound all around us!  So much

for the fresh air of the Andes!

As planned our brother Juan met us at the airport and escorted

us to a number of meetings with indigenous church leaders.  The

various locations fleshed out quite a diverse group of church leaders.

Our first meeting was with a group from long established churches in

the Quito area.  They were very transparent as they shared that

continuing in the western model simply wasn’t reaching their people.

They were weary of attempting to keep lifeless machinery running.  Oh,

but what an excitement was revealed when they realized that programs,

buildings, and even American missionaries were not the answer but

rather the revealed Word of God.  Nothing is needed but a Holy Spirit

empowered implementation of the truths found therein.

Our second meeting was as if we were seeing firsthand the Book of Acts

fleshed out.  Brother Juan has laid a Biblical foundation of what the

Church should be.  The believers have eagerly taken hold and are

actively learning how to become a God reliant reproducing church.

The various meetings in the Puyo area revealed similar conditions.

Weariness seemed to accompany those who were exposed to the

constraints of buildings and program oriented ministries. On the other

hand, there was a perceivable excitement in the places were buildings

and programs were not the focus.  All, however, were greatly refreshed

and encouraged as they were again reminded that God has provided

everything necessary to see the Great Commission to its conclusion.

Our responsibility is simply to embrace and obey His teachings.

Our families, ministries, and work required this trip to come to a

conclusion.  Our thanks to each of you who prayed for us, our

families, and most of all the glory of God in our absence.

Thankfully His,