Prosecutor’s Wife Accuses Him of Violence, Brandishing Pistol

3 min read
Phnom Penh Municipal Court in December 2021. (Ananth Baliga/VOD)

The wife of a Phnom Penh deputy prosecutor has filed a police complaint alleging domestic violence, saying he had beat her and aimed a pistol at the side of her head.

Toul Kork district’s Toek La’ak II commune chief Leng Lay said on Monday that the complaint against prosecutor Muth Dara was received over the weekend and already passed to the district.

Dara had been questioned over the incident, and the case was now in the hands of others, Lay said.

But the commune police chief also downplayed the incident, saying “normally a husband and wife always have disputes” and “there was a little fighting and a little scratch on hands and legs and little injuries and it was fine.”

The wife, Heng Mouykea, spoke to reporters on Saturday night as she headed out to file her complaint.

According to news video from the interview, Mouykea said her husband had accused her of stealing money and had pulled her arm and hit her.

Dara then pulled out his pistol and aimed it at the side of her head, Mouykea said. When she shouted for help, house staff came, and Dara pointed the gun at them and locked them in an upstairs room, she said.

She contacted her parents in Kampong Chhnang and they drove to Phnom Penh to file a complaint to police together, she said.

“Yes, he beat [me] and I couldn’t tolerate it,” she said, also alleging that Dara had used violence against their children, without giving details.

Mouykea’s mother added: “Call him to come and face journalists. Stop the beating and threatening.”

In the last year, at least two influential men — both local tycoons — were accused of violence by women but have yet to face any credible investigation from authorities.

Justice Ministry spokesman Chin Malin cautioned against coming to a hasty conclusion, as the public had only heard from one side and authorities were still investigating.

“I would like to clarify a little, and when you publish it, it might be wrong since we have seen [other] media outlets have published wrong,” Malin said.

“First, people don’t know the [full] story, whether there was violence or not, because there is no one who saw it and so far no evidence. All we have seen and heard is from the wife and his mother-in-law, so allow the authorities to investigate whether there was crime like the wife and mother-in-law has alleged.”

If the investigation finds that a crime was committed, Dara will not be protected, he said. Malin added that it was unsurprising that a prosecutor owned a gun.

“[I hope] VOD publishes in the middle, based on the law, and I hope it’s not based on its own views, or anger and hate for institutions or judicial officials,” Malin said.

Toul Kork district police chief Sok Heng, Phnom Penh Municipal Police spokesman San Sokseyha and municipal court prosecution spokesman Plang Sophal could not be reached for comment.

A man who answered a previously known number for Dara said he wasn’t the deputy prosecutor.

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