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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Court calls Bandith to ‘clarify’ Bavet shooting

Court calls Bandith to ‘clarify’ Bavet shooting

There's still no arrest warrant, but Svay Rieng provincial court has issued a summons to former Bavet town governor Chhouk Bandith, asking him to come to court on May 27 to clarify the circumstances surrounding charges related to the shooting of three protesters, an official told the Post yesterday.

“I am not sure whether he will come to clarify in the morning or afternoon, but he already received the summons,” said Hing Bun Chea, chief prosecutor for Svay Rieng.

The charges in question stem from a February 20 protest involving more than 6,000 workers from the Kaoway Sports factory.

Chhouk Bandith allegedly opened fire into the crowd, injuring Buot Chinda, 21, Keo Near, 18, and Nuth Sakhorn, 23, each of whom are demanding $45,000 in compensation.

Chhouk Bandith was subsequently charged with causing “unintentional injuries” and transferred to a lesser post.

Victim Buot Chinda said that she would like to ask the provincial court to take quick action in light of the long delay.

“I want to appeal to the court to issue an arrest warrant and arrest him, because the court has all the evidence already,” she said. “If a poor person like me did what Chhouk Bandit did, they might already be in prison.”

Am Sam Ath, senior investigator for the rights group Licadho, said that local NGOs were upset about the provincial court’s foot-dragging as well as the charge of “unintentional injuries”, which they deem too lenient.

“In this case, the provincial court will just follow the court procedure,” he said. “They have no desire to sentence Chhouk Bandith and find justice for victims.”

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

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