The alleged driver of a motorbike from which a grenade was tossed at a shophouse in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district in October, killing an 11-year-old boy and injuring four others, was arrested yesterday.
Eng Dalin, a 23-year-old resident of the district where the explosion shocked community members on October 9, slowed by the house, and sped away after the explosive device was thrown, Phnom Penh penal police officer Seng Rith said yesterday. He characterised the attack as an apparent assassination attempt.
“He drove the motorbike for the killer who threw a grenade into a villager’s house, which killed one person and wounded four in Sen Sok district last year,” Rith said.
“He was arrested after a warrant was filed by Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s prosecutor; he is accused of being an accomplice to premeditated and intentional murder.”
Dalin is the fourth person arrested in connection with the grenade attack, which was allegedly intended to kill Sin Sorn, 56, a member of Por Sen Chey district’s Kouk Roka commune council. The allegedly politically motivated attempted murder ultimately claimed the life of Sorn’s son, as family members enjoyed a meal outside the house on a Thursday evening.
Phy Leap, 46, the Kouk Roka commune chief, and Pov Bunthoeun, 34, the president of a village council, the Andoung 6 Association, both stand accused of ordering the attack.
Investigators believe that Leap and Bunthoeun conspired to have Sorn killed to keep him from possibly becoming commune chief and to end land conflicts they had with him, Sen Sok district police chief Mok Hong said when police arrested the duo in December.
The co-defendants allegedly hired Dalin and 27-year-old Nuon Samrith – who is accused of throwing the grenade – to carry out the attack, offering them $10,000 for the hit, investigators said. When they heard the attempt on Sorn’s life had failed, they paid Dalin and Samrith only $5,000.
The two allegedly argued with Leap and Bunthoeun about their pay, bringing them to the attention of the authorities, police said.
If convicted, all four face 15 years to life in prison.