Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Police declined to arrest “dangerous” suspect hours before murder, family says

Police declined to arrest “dangerous” suspect hours before murder, family says

The family of a 13-year-old boy who was murdered in Phnom Penh on Monday hold a ceremony this morning.
The family of a 13-year-old boy who was murdered in Phnom Penh on Monday hold a ceremony this morning. Pha Lina

Police declined to arrest “dangerous” suspect hours before murder, family says

The wife of a suspect charged for the murder of a 13-year old boy – whose drowning in broad daylight was caught on camera by onlookers – said she called police just hours before the Monday murder because her husband was behaving “dangerously”, but that officers declined to take action.

Ny Kunthea, 32, today said she called a police officer at about 1:30pm on Monday to ask officials to take Var Ratha, 33, to a drug rehabilitation centre because she feared he was using drugs.

“He used to take drugs. When he behaved strangely like this, I thought he had a drug problem [again] and called the police to take him to the drug rehabilitation centre. But the policeman replied that they couldn’t come because of a lack of police officials,” she said.

The recipient of her call, an officer who identified himself as Dora but refused to give his full name, confirmed yesterday he had spoken to Kunthea. He said he told her he was not able to help because he did not work on drug issues.

Just two hours after the phone call, Ratha is alleged to have beaten his victim unconscious as the boy was herding cows in Phnom Penh’s Prey Sar commune, and drowned him in a shallow pool in a field as onlookers watched. Under questioning by police, the suspect said the boy had been shooting spitballs at him with a toy gun, and that he was possessed by “spirits” and could not control his rage.

Updates to come.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all