Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - 'Drunk' prison chief locked up as multiple inmates escape jail

'Drunk' prison chief locked up as multiple inmates escape jail

'Drunk' prison chief locked up as multiple inmates escape jail

Eight men have escaped Preah Vihear prison since the new head was appointed a month ago, but officials say monitoring has improved.

THE head of Preah Vihear's provincial jail has been imprisoned on suspicion of conspiring to release prisoners and suspects.

Deputy Prosecutor Thol Kimheung issued the detention order against prison Chief Sar Saing on Friday and charged him and two guards with conspiracy.

"I have handed over the case to the investigating judge to determine whether they conspired or simply acted carelessly," Thol Kimheung told the Post. "If the court finds them guilty of conspiracy, they will be punished. If it is simply dereliction of duty, they will be dismissed."

Thol Kimheung said seven prisoners had escaped from the prison on Thursday night after Sar Saing and his guards got drunk with them. The inmates who fled were guilty of crimes such as murder, rape and robbery.

Thol Kimheung said 12 prisoners had fled the jail so far this year due to carelessness or conspiracy by the guards.

"And we are concerned that the escaped prisoners might commit other crimes," he said, adding that he had issued arrest warrants for all 12.

Improved security

Ros Chanthy, the deputy chief of the prison, admitted prison officials had been drinking with the prisoners but blamed the escapes on carelessness rather than conspiracy.

"Now we have strictly improved our monitoring of all prisoners," Ros Chanthy told the Post. "I have made reforms with my staff."

Ros Chanthy said that as soon as he had learned the men had escaped, the guards tried to pursue them. But they failed to find them because it happened at night and the prisoners fled into the surrounding forest.

Hor Neath, the provincial coordinator of local human rights group Adhoc, said some escapees had been convicted of crimes while others were awaiting trial.

"I believe that they meant to free the prisoners," he said, adding that since Sar Saing's appointment as prison chief a month ago, eight prisoners had managed to break out of the newly built jail. One man escaped on April 13 and the group of seven on Thursday night. Four additional prisoners escaped in February.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all