Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday began the trial of two Chinese nationals accused of kidnapping and rape in 2016, after years of delay following multiple changes in defence lawyers.
Seng Rithy, municipal court judge, identified the accused as Dai Ze Qing, 43, and Yang Qui Feng, 39, both Chinese nationals living in Cambodia.
The judge said that they were charged with kidnapping, rape and extortion, charges that could see both men imprisoned for up to 30 years.
Judge Rithy said that the accused were arrested in Kandal province in 2016 after police discovered that they kidnapped and raped a Chinese masseuse in Por Sen Chey district and demanded a ransom from her employer for her release.
The victim was identified as Zhao Xia, 24, a masseuse working at a massage parlour in Phnom Penh.
On the night of November 23, 2016, the victim was contacted by the accused in order to lure the victim to a hotel. According to the victim’s testimony, one of the accused brought her to a hotel room to engage in sex.
“But when I was brought to the hotel room, he held me down and raped me,” she said. “Mr Yang came to the join and both of them raped me again while threatening to use a knife to cut me if screamed for help.”
Shortly after the assault, the victim said that she was transported by the accused to another hotel room in Kandal province. There, one of the accused contacted her boss in Phnom Penh and demanded $10,000 for her release.
During yesterday’s trial, Mr Yang and Mr Dai confessed that they kidnapped and sexually assaulted the victim. However, both men denied that they had threatened and attempted to extort money from the victim’s employer.
According to their testimony, they claim that it was the victim that attempted to extort her employer, a Chinese woman who operates the massage parlour.
They said that the owner of the massage parlour owed the victim $10,000. They said that she asked them to retrieve the money, and promised to pay them $5,000.
“I would like to confess that I did have sex with her and I paid for it,” Mr Dai said. “I did not rape her or threaten her or try to extort money from her.”
Seng Longdy, deputy court prosecutor, said the men should be jailed.
“There’s real evidence showing that the two committed the offence,” he said. “I would like the judge to punish them according to the law.” A verdict is due Monday.