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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bavet town shooting victims summonsed again

Bavet town shooting victims summonsed again

For the second time, court officials want to question three female workers who say they were shot and wounded by former Bavet town governor Chhouk Bandith at a labour protest earlier this year.

The second summons, which has outraged the women, stems from a complaint that they filed against Chhouk Bandith.

Each of them is demanding $45,000 in compensation for their injuries.

Svay Rieng provincial court investigating Judge Pech Chhoeut said yesterday the point of the May 18 summons was to “investigate their complaint and the case happening to them”.

In February, Buot Chinda, 21, Keo Near, 18, and Nuth Sakhorn, 23, were at a 6,000-strong protest outside the Kaoway Sports factory in the Manhatten Special Economic Zone, in Svay Rieng province’s Bavet town, when they were shot.

Chhouk Bandith was identified as the trigger man.

Though not arrested, he was charged with “unintentional injuries” on May 14, transferred to a lesser post, and is scheduled to appear in court on May 27 to answer questions about the incident.

Nuth Sakhorn, who said she got the court order yesterday, wondered why the former governor had not been arrested yet, almost a month after he was charged.

“The court has no aim to find justice for us. We filed a complaint against Chhouk Bandith, but the court did not take any action.”

Victim Buot Chinda, who was shot through the chest and is a party to the complaint, raised similar concerns.

She said the summons told her to bring documents and evidence to support her case.

“I don’t know where the justice is. He has opened fire and gave me a wound that almost killed me,” she said.

Moeun Tola, head of the labour program unit at the Community Legal Education Center, said the court seemed to have no intention of arresting Chhouk Bandith.

“Even my lawyers trying to collect evidence at the scene were prevented by staff of the Special Economic Zone, although they made an appointment with the factory,” Moeun Tola said.

To contact the reporter on this story: May Titthara at titthara.may@phnompenhpost.com

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