Police in Kampong Speu province are under fire following the escape from custody of a man who allegedly murdered an elderly woman over a land dispute on Monday.
According to provincial authorities, 32-year-old Pounh Chanrith escaped from Kampong Speu provincial police station, along with another prisoner, on Tuesday night after his arrest the previous day for the suspected murder of Toch Nech, 71.
“The case and the suspect had been sent to the provincial police already and he was being detained with another man accused of stealing a cow,” said Keo Sothea, Kampong Speu Provincial Court prosecutor. “However, they managed to break the bars on the window and escaped.”
However, Chea Hean, director of NGO the Natural Resource and Wildlife Preservation Organization, which has been asked to investigate by the victim’s family, cast doubt on the official version of events. “The police have allowed no one to have a look at the breakout scene,” he said. “There is collusion . . . or else these men would not have been able to escape like this.”
Police officials declined to comment.