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Judge beaten, left lying on road in Mondulkiri

Seven men severely beat a judge in a vicious attack at a restaurant in Mondulkiri province on Sunday, before dragging him into a car, driving him 10 kilometres and dumping him on the side of a road, a court official said yesterday.

Ya Narin, president of Mondulkiri Provincial Court, said Meng Tony was recovering in hospital with serious head and face injuries.

The humans rights group Adhoc said witnesses told them the attackers had guns and suspected them of being illegal loggers and the sons of high-ranking officials.

Ya Narin said a group of men attacked the judge while he was enjoying a drink at the invitation of friends at Angkor Forest Restaurant and Guesthouse in Sen Monorom Town.

“He was beaten by a group of people who sat at different tables in the restaurant,” he said.

“After the beating, he was caught and brought by them into their car and was abandoned at a street toward Phnom Penh about 10 kilometres from the [restaurant].”

He said villagers stumbled upon the injured judge about 7pm and rushed him to the provincial hospital.

Meng Tony was later sent to Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh for more treatment.

“He now is safe but was seriously wounded,” Ya Narin said. “We do not know the reason he was beaten.”

Sam Sarin, Adhoc’s coordinator in Mondulkiri, said it was the first attack on a judge that had occurred in the province.

He wasn’t sure what had spurred it, but suggested a business dispute, a personal vendetta or anger over a verdict as possible motives.

“I think that to find the truth for this case, Adhoc will conduct an investigation,” he said.

Mondulkiri Provincial Police chief Nhem Vanny and his deputy chief, So Sovann, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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