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Officer assaults official

An at-large army officer – believed by police to be involved in the illegal luxury wood trade – has been charged in absentia with intentional violence for the brutal beating of a deputy provincial prosecutor in Kratie province on Wednesday night, police said yesterday.

The RCAF officer, Captain Meas Piseth, fled the scene of the alleged crime and authorities are searching for him to make an arrest, said Major Srey Vutha, chief of the provincial research and justice police office in Kratie.

On Wednesday, Kandal court deputy prosecutor Keo Socheath had traveled to Kratie’s Sambor district to visit his family, Vutha relayed.

“While staying in his birth place, Keo Socheath had a dispute with Meas Matesh, a local taxi driver and the father of Captain Meas Piseth, over parking his motorcycle in front of Meas Piseth’s taxi car nearby a local shop,” Vutha said.

Matesh phoned his son during the spat and Piseth arrived on the scene in his luxury Lexus car and allegedly started bashing Socheath immediately, Vutha said.

“Meas Piseth has seriously beaten the victim who is Kandal court’s deputy prosecutor.

“The victim was beaten on his head, face and chest and sustained serious injuries,” he told the Post yesterday in a telephone interview.

“After beating the victim Piseth drove away in his luxury car, fleeing the scene and escaping,” Vutha added.

Two of the victim’s teeth were smashed in and he was sent for treatment in a Phnom Penh hospital, the police chief said.

Sak Sokun, deputy commander of the Kratie town military police, said police and military forces had descended on Piseth’s house yesterday but it was evident the violent captain had already fled.

He added that, according to the police’s investigation, Piseth was also involved in illegal trade of luxury wood.

He had been using his high-ranking military position to smuggle the wood from Cambodia to Vietnam for many years, Sokun said.

Hak Hean, a deputy prosecutor at the Kratie Provincial Court, said Piseth had already been charged with intentional violence and causing injury.

The court has issued a warrant for his arrest.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at reaksmeykongkea.buth@phnompenhpost.com

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