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Police officer sought after farmer shot dead

The family of a 25-year-old farmer, who was allegedly shot dead by a police officer in Prey Veng province last week, have called on the provincial police chief to intervene and arrest those responsible.

Thai Savuth, 25, a farmer from the Punley village of Peamro district’s Baborng commune, was killed instantly on Wednesday after commune police officer Chum Samath allegedly opened fire with his AK-47 at a dance party during a Khmer New Year celebration, the victim’s family said.

The father of the victim, Patt Heang, 57, said Sunday that he had filed a complaint to the commune and district police on Friday and urged them to arrest the officer who is thought to have killed his son.

“I do not need [financial] compensation but I need the provincial police chief to order the commune and district police to speed up the finding and arresting of the officer,” he said.  Tom Sophath, chief of the Baborng commune police, said that on the night of the incident Chum Samath and other officers has been invited to the party where the shooting took place.

The officer suspected of the killing has been missing since Wednesday, he said.  

“Right now we are searching to find the place that [the officer] is hiding and arrest him,” he said.

Tim Phorn, provincial police chief, said on Sunday that he received a crime report about the incident from the Peamro district police and ordered them to arrest the suspect, but has yet to receive a report on the attempted arrest.

“We would not allow a criminal to live outside of the law. We will find and arrest him … even if he escaped anywhere,” he said, adding that yesterday he asked for an arrest warrant from the provincial court for the officer, but they had yet to sign the document.

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