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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Flopper’ misses court date

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Immigration officer Chhean Pisith lies on the ground in front of a vehicle owned by Mang Puthy in Poipet town in December. Photo supplied

‘Flopper’ misses court date

Disgraced Poipet immigration officer Chhean Pisith failed to appear before a Banteay Meanchey court by a May 8 deadline for questioning in relation to his alleged shooting of a colleague early last month.

The victim, Sem Makara, called for an arrest warrant to be issued for the official, who late last year was widely mocked for pretending to be hit by a local union leader’s apparently stationary car.

After allegedly shooting the Poipet border checkpoint administrator in the shoulder on April 9, Pisith was fired from the Interior Ministry and had until May 8 to appear before court for questioning.

Ministry officials over the course of the past month have said his whereabouts are unknown and that he is believed to have fled the country.

Following his absence, court spokesman Sok Keobandith did not respond to questions about whether an arrest warrant would be issued. However, last month he told The Post that a “red-handed” crime did not require a warrant and the prosecutor could order officials to arrest the suspect.

Pisith allegedly shot Makara after he intervened in a personal dispute between two other colleagues. When Pisith got involved, an argument ensued, leading Pisith to pull out a pistol.

The victim appeared before court yesterday, saying he relayed the events of the incident to the prosecutor.

“Honestly, we want him to be arrested immediately. But what can we do if we don’t see him? But I am the victim, and I let the court do its work,” he said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak could not be reached yesterday.

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