From Cambodia to Japan

A Cambodian Student Looks at Life in Two Different Worlds

The Plaintiff, the Judge and the Money

So here’s the latest development in my friend's case.

I was told he was denied bail and is still being detained in the local police station with one of his legs chained to the wall. The reason he is being chained is because the local police department does not have a proper detention room. They are afraid he might try to escape.

His case has reached the stage of mediation. That is, if he agrees to pay the money to the plaintiff-his girlfriend- he will not have to stand trial. In other words, the case will be closed.

For the meant time, the compensation for emotional distress damages sought by his girlfriend has dropped to $1000(previously $5000). Still, his dad could not afford $1000 and is bargaining for lesser indemnity. He was told that either paying the sum of money they are asking for or seeing his son going to jail. They said the longer he delays the case the more the amount of money is going to increase.

I initially advised him not to pay, not even a penny. As far as this case is concerned, I believe he is definitely innocent. First, his girlfriend is not a minor; she is already 21 year-old. By law she is entitled to go anywhere she wants with whomever she chooses to. With her consent to run away from home, neither my friend should be held responsible for luring her out of her home. Second, the fact that both exchanging phone messages setting out the date and time to runaway from home, not to mention the piles of phone messages both exchanged for over a year, makes the accusation that she was kidnapped sound somewhat ridiculous. There are several other evidences- of which I don’t have to write it down here- because I believe the two above are enough to prove his innocence

I said “initially” because I now am worried about the outcome of the trial if his case is brought to the final step - that is, the ultimate trial. The credibly of the judge is questionable, particularly when it comes to the case of the rich against the poor – a sad fact that I have come to believe over and over again. It would be too risky for him to go on to further step, even though I could assure him that he has a great chance to win the case should the judge truly committed to the impartial application of law. On the other hand, if the judge is corrupted(of course, they are in most cases)he would risk going to jail, paying indemnity, losing his job and after all having his life totally ruined.

In fact, his dad did go to consult the judge who’s going to handle this case. The judge said whether my friend is guilty or innocent, $2000 would settle the case. So wouldn't it be much better to return to the primary mediation with his girlfriend's family?

It’s obviously unfair to compensate for the crime you didn't commit. But is there any other option?

I'll write more tomorrow...

2 Responses to “The Plaintiff, the Judge and the Money”

  1. # Anonymous Anonymous

    that's a suck situation. things always unfair in cambodia specially when it come to LAW. I wish i could do something to get that judge jail instead.  

  2. # Anonymous Anonymous

    i do agree with u, guy! i, perhaps with your help, should write a story called 'When the Judge Is Jailed!'  

Post a Comment