The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the conviction of a former military police commander for the acid attack in retribution against a former lover.
Chea Ratha, the former deputy chief of military police, and five accomplices, were released by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in August 2009, whose not guilty verdict was reversed by the Appeals Court in November that year.
The Appeals Court issued an 18-year prison sentence against the six suspects in absentia and fined $100,000. They all remain at large.
They were accused of attacking Ya Sok Nim, the aunt of beauty queen In Solida, the reported lover of Chea Ratha, in May 2008. In Solida, who was not harmed, has said she was forced into a relationship with Chea Ratha until she finally refused.
Ya Sok Nim, whose face was disfigured in the attack and who has gone into hiding since Chea Ratha's release, told VOA Khmer by phone the courts had “provided me and my family justice.”
“I still worry about the safety of myself and my family because the offenders have not yet been arrested,” she said.
Her lawyer, Huang Sopheak, said the verdict was right but the compensation was not enough. However, lawyer for the defense, Nach Try, said the courts had made their decision with insufficient evidence or witnesses.
Am Sam Ath, lead investigator for the rights group Licadho, said the conviction sent a positive message that could deter future attacks.