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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Dogs add bite to CFF trial

Dogs add bite to CFF trial

dog.jpg
dog.jpg

Dog handler Phuong Sarath keeps his new "weapon" in check.

Cambodia's first terrorism trial marked the debut of a squad of 10 attack dogs trained

for use in demonstrations.

The 10 muzzled german shepherds and alsatians and their handlers were deployed in

and around the Supreme Court compound where the CFF trial took place.

"It is the first time we have used riot dogs in Cambodia," said Tep Borany,

Deputy Director of the Ministry of Interior's Crime Department.

"We have them for cracking down on demonstrations and searching for evidence

of crimes."

According to Borany, the unit was created on the instructions of Police Director-General

Hok Lundy, who sent 10 policemen to Vietnam last year to undergo a dog-handling course.

The handlers returned to Cambodia in December with dogs donated by the Vietnamese.

According to dog handler Phuong Sarath, 30, the dogs must be muzzled for policing

activities, particularly during demonstrations, but muzzles can be removed in threatening

situations.

"If any of the CFF suspects try to escape from the courtroom, we are able to

release our dogs to chase and bite [the suspects] but not to injure and kill,"

said Mao Dara, Chief of the MoI Crime Unit.

Sarath was unapologetic about an incident in which his dog, Laika, attempted to attack

a group of children passing the Supreme Court on the afternoon of June 12.

"My dog hates girls and children," Sarath explained.

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