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Traffic Accident Victim Claims US $2,500 Settlement Was Forced, Police Deny Involvement

PHNOM PENH: A woman involved in a traffic accident on the old Chroy Changva bridge on Monday night, 5 December 2022, has claimed that she did not know beforehand that the authorities requested her fingerprint in order to close her case with a US $2,500 compensation settlement. She said she only agreed to give her fingerprint because she thought it was for the lawsuit papers. The Phnom Penh Municipal Police Commissioner is denying this claim and saying that authorities did not force the victim to give her fingerprint to end the case with a cash settelement.

The victim has stated that she did not know the paper on which the authorities asked for her fingerprint was an agreement to receive an out-of-court settlement. She said that she was in “a state of shock" and did not know that her mother, the grandmother of her 2-month-old baby receiving emergency treatment at Kantha Bopha Hospital, had agreed upon the US $2,500 settlement from the perpetrator.

The victim stated that her mother accepted the settlement because she was afraid that she would not be able to pay the hospital fees.

The mother of the two-month-old baby has also claimed that while she was being treated at a private hospital, an elderly woman had asked her to accept US $3,000 in compensation, but she refused because the money would not be enough to pay for her medical bills.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Police Commissioner has denied the claims made by the victim and released a statement in support of its officers on Thursday, 8 December 2022. The Phnom Penh Municipal Police Commissioner has said that the police visited the doctor who owns the private clinic that was treating the victim and also recorded an audio message from the clinic owner who asserts that the victim did not faint and had walked herself to the clinic on the night of the accident on 5 December.

The clinic owner claims that the woman did not lose consciousness, was lucid and had only suffered injuries to the head, neck, and eyes.

"I did not know about the forced settlement, but her condition was normal, her friend was also chatting with her, she was not in a confused state, her condition was normal and her visitors also came to see and talk with her,” the clinic owner told the commissioner.

"There is no reason that the authorities would force the victim to give her fringerprint,” the clinic owner and other witnesses who visited the victim claim the Phnom Penh Municipal Police Commissioner said.

It should be noted that a traffic accident occurred on the old Chroy Changva bridge in the early hours of Monday, where a drunk driver hit three people, causing serious injuries, especially to an infant. Although the perpetrator and the victim supposedly agreed to close the case with a US $2,500 settlement, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court is still continuing the case’s legal proceedings.

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