Archive for June 2010
30/6/2010 PPenhPost by Chrann Chamroeun
PHNOM Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday questioned the wife of a prominent businessman for nearly two hours in connection with an alleged murder plot targeting Suv Chantha, the wife of Suv Chantol, vice chairman of the Council for the Development of Cambodia.
Interior Ministry officials accompanied the woman to court on Tuesday morning after a summons was issued, and she was released late Tuesday afternoon, investigating judge Te Sam Ang said.
“I have freed her to go home without filing any charges,” Te Sam Ang said. He declined to explain why she had been summoned.
Two men and two women were charged last Wednesday in connection with their alleged involvement in a scheme to kill Sun Chantha in her villa in Sen Sok district’s Toek Thla commune on June 13. Sun Chantha filed a complaint with the Interior Ministry on June 16.
Dun Vibol, who is defending the foursome, said three of them had told court officials that they had been hired by the woman questioned on Tuesday to carry out the killing.
“It is the right of the investigating judge to issue the arrest warrant to invite [the woman] for interrogation over the attempted murder case, considering that it is part of the investigation to find out the truth,” he said.
“Referring to testimony from three of the four suspects, [the woman] ordered them to kill Sun Chanthol’s wife.”
One of the four suspects, 37-year-old Chan Sokha, last Thursday retracted an earlier confession to police, saying it had been made under duress.
Dun Vibol on Tuesday speculated that the court had freed the woman because officials had not discovered any concrete evidence against her. He added that he did not expect the case to be brought to trial “for at least six months”.
30/6/2010 PPenhPost by Uong Ratana
Union leader Chea Mony has offered to pay 16.5 million riels (around US$3,928) in fines and compensation on behalf of opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua, who was ordered to furnish the sum after being convicted of defaming Prime Minister Hun Sen last year.
Chea Mony, president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, said Tuesday that he was collecting donations to cover the payment, 8.5 million riels of which is due Thursday.
“We do not want to lose [Mu Sochua] from government or the National Assembly because she is a very good woman,” he said.
On June 17, the National Treasury wrote to Mu Sochua informing her that a payment of 8.5 million riels must be made within two weeks, or by July 1. Government officials have warned that Mu Sochua could face prison if she does not pay on time.
But the Kampot parliamentarian, who was first convicted of defamation last August, repeated that she would prefer to go to jail than to admit guilt, and that she did not want anybody to pay on her behalf.
“Firstly, I will not pay. Secondly, my conscience will not allow anyone to pay on my behalf,” she said by phone from Manila. “If I was afraid of this, I would not have sued Prime Minister Hun Sen.”
BANGKOK, June 30 (Xinhua) — Thailand’s government has no plan to replace the state of emergency with the Internal Security Act (ISA) in some areas, Deputy Prime Minister overseeing security Suthep Thaugsuban said on Wednesday, the National News Bureau of Thailand (NNT) reported.
The Center for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) and government are going to assess the situation next week to see if the state of emergency can be lifted or not, he said.
The assessment on the situation will be made before the state of emergency will complete its 3-month term of the enforcement on July 7.
Though the anti-government protests ended on May 19, the government has still maintained its enforcement of the state of emergency in order to ensure security for the public.
The state of emergency has been imposed from April 7, 2010, in 24 provinces of Thailand’s 76 provinces, empowering police and army to control the then anti-government protests.
The death toll from a series of violent clashes between the “red-shirt” protesters and troops during March 12 to May 19 stood at 88 as some 1,885 others were wounded.
MANILA – BENIGNO Aquino was on Wednesday sworn in as president of the Philippines amid joyous celebrations and desperate hopes he will usher in a new era of clean government for the corruption-wrecked nation.
Police said up to 500,000 people, many of them wearing the Aquino family’s signature yellow, turned up for the festival-style inauguration ceremony at a seaside park in Manila. The crowd roared and waved yellow flags as the 50-year-old bachelor Aquino, wearing a traditional Filipino ‘barong’ shirt, took his oath in front of a Supreme Court judge.
‘I think he can reduce corruption and improve governance,’ high school teacher Terlito Malaya, 52, said as he waited for Mr Aquino to be sworn in. ‘Poverty is also a very big problem and needs a permanent solution… but no-one should think right now that he will fail.’
Mr Aquino rode to the country’s biggest election victory on May 10 on a pledge to fight woeful graft and poverty that he said thrived during the nearly 10-year reign of outgoing president Gloria Arroyo.
Another crucial factor was his status as the son of Philippine democracy heroes Benigno and Corazon Aquino, who remain revered for their efforts to overthrow dictator Ferdinand Marcos. His mother, Corazon, earned a reputation as an incorruptible leader during her six-year term as president following the ‘people power’ revolution that toppled Marcos in 1986.
Her death from cancer last year reignited national support for the family, which in turn lifted her son from political lightweight after 11 years as a low-profile member of parliament to presidential frontrunner. East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta and US Trade Representative Ron Kirk were among the foreign dignitaries to attend the inauguration.
HANOI – A Viet couple have been jailed for 23 years each for torturing their 14-year-old domestic helper with boiling water, chemicals and pliers, a court official said on Wednesday.
The trial on Tuesday of Huynh Thanh Giang, 30 and his wife Ma Ngoc Thom, 33, attracted thousands of people from the Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau, said Lam Thanh Quang of the provincial court.
The shrimp-farming couple were arrested in April for allegedly torturing the boy by breaking his teeth with pliers, locking him up and forcing him to drink his own urine, state media reported.
The victim told the court that he had also been beaten on the forehead, back and face with a hammer, bamboo, and plastic cable.
‘I had many injuries on my head. My right chest was burnt by boiling water… I was even hung and beaten in the sun,’ Tuoi Tre newspaper on Wednesday quoted him as saying.
Two teenage employees who helped the couple beat the boy were each sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, Quang told AFP. The victim’s mother earlier told state media she had given her son permission to work on the shrimp farm for a monthly wage of 500,000 dong (S$37).
HANOI, June 30 (Xinhua) — Vietnamese and Lao parliamentarians pledged to work together to deepen relations and cooperation between the two national assemblies and the two countries, Lao newspaper the Vientiane Times reported Wednesday.
The pledge was made at the meeting between the visiting Chair of the Vietnamese National Assembly’s Committee for Science, Technology and Environment Dang Vu Minh, and Lao National Assembly President Thongsing Thammavong.
At the meeting, the Lao National Assembly President highly valued Minh’s visit for strengthening traditional solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Laos and Vietnam.
Thongsing said he expects to boost bilateral cooperation in environmental protection and natural resource management as Vietnam has a lot of experiences in these fields.
Poor land management and deforestation topped the agenda of the ongoing 9th Ordinary Session of the Sixth Legislature of the Lao National Assembly, said Thongsing. Laos targets to increase its forest coverage from the current 53 percent to 70 percent of its land area by 2020.
At the meeting, Chair of the Vietnamese National Assembly’s Committee for Science, Technology and Environment Dang Vu Minh thanked the Lao side for its warm hospitality.
Vietnamese and Lao assemblies had common concerns over issues regarding natural resources protection, said Minh.
Minh said he would do his utmost to enhance bilateral relations and cooperation between Vietnamese and Lao assemblies, in particular, and the two countries as a whole.