Fired Kep Deputy Governor Absconding After Assaulting Woman

2 min read
Fired Kep deputy governor Phou Lik in a photo on his Facebook page.
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A fired deputy Kep governor is still on the run after a court complaint was filed against him for assaulting a woman on the head during a party in the last week of December.

Kep deputy governor Phou Lik has been accused of hitting a woman on the head at a party to celebrate the promotion of another government employee, leading to his termination by the prime minister, who issued a subdecree on Saturday firing the deputy governor.

Kep provincial court spokesperson Soeun Monirath said the prosecutor’s office had received a complaint from the victim of the attack and that the prosecutor was yet to file preliminary charges. The police had forwarded the case to the court under the charges of indecent assault and intentional violence, he added.

“We will wait and see what action the excellency prosecutor will take because we just got the case file from the judicial police yesterday,” Monirath said on Tuesday.

He confirmed that Lik had fled the scene and had not been arrested as of Tuesday afternoon. The deputy governor immediately left after the incident took place on December 29, Monirath said, but did not give additional details about the case.

According to government-friendly Fresh News, the woman is tax officer Khov Huy Laing who was trying to stop the deputy governor from harassing another woman. As Huy Laing left the table, Lik threw a glass at her, hitting her on the head just above the right eye.

VOD attempted to reach Lik on two of his Facebook pages which had recent posts from the last week. He did not pick up a phone number listed on one of the Facebook pages.

Kep provincial spokesperson Ul Phirun refused to comment on Tuesday and directed queries to another provincial deputy governor Im Panharith, who could not be reached. Provincial administration chief Chhun Chanvanthon did not answer his phone on multiple occasions on Monday and Tuesday.

Bunn Rachana, head of feminist group Klahaan, welcomed the move to fire the official from his position but said this was only the first step and that courts and the police need to proactively prosecute such cases without waiting for a complaint from the victim.

“With a red-handed crime like this, even though the victims dare not to file the complaint, the prosecutor and judicial police at the locality or the judicial police officer at the provincial women’s affairs department can play a role as the plaintiff and file a complaint to the court and the victims then can file a complaint for other damages,” Rachana said.

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