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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cop charged with assault, firing weapon

Cop charged with assault, firing weapon

KOMPONG Speu provincial court on Wednesday charged a military police officer with battery and firing his gun illegally, though he was not made to serve pretrial detention, a court official said.

Meanwhile, medical reports indicated that his victim was not actually shot, despite earlier statements from police to the contrary.

Nhean Somony, 31, was arrested on Saturday after he allegedly chased 37-year-old Soeun Prasoeu to his home in Kompong Speu’s Samrong Tong district and shot at him after a minor traffic accident in Kandal province.

Provincial court prosecutor Muth Dara said charges had been laid against Nhean Somony on Wednesday, and that he had recommended that the officer be placed in pretrial detention.

“I can’t talk in detail on this case, but I found he has made a mistake,” he said. “I am asking for him to be detained in prison during further investigations.”

Svay Yoeun, chief of the Kampong Speu serious crimes bureau, said on Tuesday that Soeun Prasoeu had been shot in the back of the head. On Wednesday, however, he said a medical examination conducted by the Bayon Polyclinic, a private facility in Phnom Penh, indicated that no bullets actually hit the victim.

Rather, he said, the wounds to his head were likely caused by a sharp object of some kind.

“It says the injury is not from a bullet but that he was cut during a clash,” Svay Yoeun said. “During [Saturday’s altercation], the suspect did shoot, but we know the bullet did not go through [the victim’s] head.”

Svay Yoeun added that the results of the medical examination had been passed on to the court for further investigation.

Investigating judge Keo Mony said Wednesday that he was examining evidence in the case, and that he was still considering the prosecutor’s request to place the suspect in pretrial detention. A trial date has not yet been set.

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