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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Incidents pile up for Cambodian cop

Incidents pile up for Cambodian cop

130123 03
Chok Kimchin, a commune police chief in Kampong Thom province, went on a shooting spree that resulted in the death of his son and injury of his wife and daughter. Photograph: National Police

A police official who was yesterday charged with premeditated murder for the shooting of his 14-year-old son had a history of using his department-issued AK-47 to threaten his wife, according to a local official.

Kampong Thom prosecutor Pen Sarat said he would be seeking the maximum penalty – life in prison – for Chamna Krom commune police chief Chok Kimchin.

On Sunday, shortly after he allegedly opened fire in his home – wounding his wife and five-year-old daughter, and killing his only son – the 43-year-old father of four turned himself in.

Police said Kimchin confessed to the shooting and expressed remorse. His wife was shot in the leg and stomach, his daughter in the back, and both were sent to Siem Reap hospitals.

Two other daughters escaped unscathed.

Yesterday, the Kampong Thom provincial court charged Kimchin with premeditated murder.

“I have forwarded the case to the investigating judge and the suspect has been sent to detention waiting further investigating,” said prosecutor Sarat.

Deputy Kampong Thom police chief Ke Khannara said Kimchin had been sacked from his position immediately following the incident.

 “We will not tolerate the perpetrator, as he broke the law,” said Khannara.

While he was employed, however, his position gave pause to those who wished to intervene in the case of a man whom authorities described as a serial abuser.

“I could not do anything against him, because he had a gun, but I only reported to superiors and tried to make the family compromise,” said Khim Yun, Nangkoal village chief.

Yun said that Sunday’s shooting was not the first time the police chief opened fire, saying he had done so “many times” while fighting with his wife.

While Yun insisted he reported the incidents up the chain, police officials yesterday sought to distance themselves from the case, insisting they knew nothing of the frequent shooting.

“If he freely opened fire, then of course we would arrest him, we would use the National Police rules against him. But we never received information about his shooting previously,” said Vorn Sophorn, deputy Stoung district police chief.

Sophorn and other police and commune officials said this week they knew Kimchin was prone to frequent, jealous outbursts while drunk and insisted they often found themselves intervening.

But, they insisted, he was not physically violent and his wife never filed a police complaint, leaving them little recourse besides continual “education”.

 

To contact the reporter on this story: Kim Yuthana at yuthana.kim@phnompenhpost.com
 

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