Four trafficking suspects connected to the scandal-wracked Chai Hour II hotel are scheduled to stand trial on 7 February 2006. Yin Wengka, the defense lawyer for the case, said his clients-hotel owner Pao Ly and manager Sam Leng-will stand trial for illegally possessing weapons and for conspiring to traffic humans. He said Khun Navy and Sam Srey, both 21, will also stand trial for attempting to sell a 16-year-old girl to hotel customers. The four were arrested in the aftermath of police and NGO workers raiding the hotel in December 2004 and taking 83 women and girls to a shelter run by the NGO AFESIP. The next day, the shelter was attacked and the females removed.
Following the raid, the US government downgraded Cambodia to the bottom tier of its global anti-trafficking watchdog list. US Embassy spokesman Jeff Daigle declined comment, except to say that the US welcomes "recent steps the Cambodian government has taken to combat trafficking."
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