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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Accused in shooting, officer tries to escape

Accused in shooting, officer tries to escape

shooting victim heng chivoan
Dy Vichey, 29, recuperates from a bullet wound in hospital after officers allegedly fired when he refused to pay a bribe. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

A police officer arrested for allegedly shooting a driver who failed to pay a bribe on Sunday tried to evade custody yesterday by jumping from the back of the police car transporting him and his accomplice from court.

The handcuffed suspect, Yu Sokhea, tried to escape as the car was driving through Tuol Kork district – on the way back to the police station from the Phnom Penh Municipal Court where the duo were questioned yesterday morning.

Sokhea hid in a pond – but to no avail. After just 20 minutes he was discovered and arrested once again, said Phnom Penh deputy police chief Chuon Narin.

Yu Sokhea, a municipal anti-drug officer, and Kong Dara, an officer in Russey Keo’s Chraing Chamreh commune, were arrested on Monday after Sokhea allegedly shot Dy Vichey when the driver refused to pay a 2,000 riel ($0.50) bribe at an unofficial checkpoint the pair had set up.

Both officers were promptly dismissed from their positions and arrested.

Narin said Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutors had questioned the two suspects in the morning and had asked officers to take them back to the station before bringing them back for a separate interrogation in the afternoon. The men were remanded to police custody last night and are expected to be charged today following further questioning.

According to Anrin, Sokhea told officers that he tried to escape because he did not want to go to jail and had no money to compensate the victim.

The victim, Vichey, is currently being treated at Calmette hospital. Vichey’s brother, Dy Sopheak told the Post the 29-year-old was still recovering from surgery to remove a bullet from his chest.

“My brother remains in poor condition,” Sopheak said, adding that his brother is seeking $8,000 in compensation.

Kirth Chantharith, spokesman for the National Police, insisted the police take a tough stand against officers who discharge their weapons irresponsibly.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kim Yuthana at yuthana.kim@phnompenhpost.com

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