Bun Sokha (in towel), a deputy chief of staff in Prime Minister Hun Sen’s bodyguard unit, punches a man in a Koh Kong hotel in April. Photo: screengrab from security video
The Koh Kong Provincial Court has wrapped up its investigation into charges against former Hun Sen assistant Bun Sokha and his entourage stemming from the brutal assault of four men in a Koh Kong hotel, an NGO official close to the chief prosecutor said yesterday.
Neang Boratino, a Koh Kong provincial coordinator for the rights group Adhoc, said that even though the four victims withdrew their complaints against the prime minister’s former bodyguard and his three accomplices after accepting monetary compensation for their injuries, the court would still continue with its prosecution of the case.
“Closing the investigation into the case means that the four suspects would be brought to a hearing soon, because the court has video clip evidence of the attack on four men at Koh Kong City Hotel,” he said.
According to Neang Boratino, the court’s apparent insistence on trying the case is refreshing.
“We hoped that the court would take legal action to find justice for the victims, because the case related to a powerful person,” he said. “It is so rare that a powerful person is condemned.”
In Kong Chit, a provincial coordinator for rights group Licadho, said the case has dragged on long enough, and that the Koh Kong court should be as speedy in prosecuting Bun Sokha as the Phnom Penh court was in prosecuting the so-called Boeung Kak 13, especially in light of what he called undeniable evidence.
“The court takes such fast action that we hope that the court will find justice for the victims,” he said.
Victim Norng Suden said that since he received his $3,000, he preferred to leave the matter to the court and forget about the case entirely, but that fear of potential reprisals didn’t motivate his decision.
“I am not worried that he would take any revenge, because I believe that he dare not do it a second time,” he said.
Neither Koh Kong provincial judge Kham Sophary, nor provincial deputy prosecutor Srey Makny could be reached for comment.
To contact the reporter on this story: May Titthara at firstname.lastname@example.org