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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Trigger-happy driver sentenced 18 months

Trigger-happy driver sentenced 18 months

A woman who fired a handgun into the air during a traffic dispute that escalated into a four-hour standoff with police was sentenced on Wednesday to 18 months in prison on charges of reckless endangerment and illegal possession of a weapon.

Khay Dara, 22, will serve her time in Prey Sar prison, according to Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Presiding Judge Chang Sinat also ordered her to pay a 1 million riel (US$239) fine.

On Monday night, Khay Dara was driving down Street 271 in Meanchey district when a Honda CR-V sport utility vehicle cut across her lane of traffic in the wrong direction to make a turn, the court heard.

When the Honda pulled over, the court was told, Khay Dara got out of her vehicle and approached the other driver, holding a gun in her hand.

After firing the weapon in the air four times, Khay Dara launched into an abusive tirade, the court was told, prompting residents to summon police.
Witness Tuon Makara said that Khay Dara appeared drunk as she taunted police and onlookers.

In an attempt to avoid arrest, Khay Dara falsely said she was an adviser to Assembly President Heng Samrin, the niece of Deputy Prime Minister Sok An and an acquaintance of National Police Chief Neth Savoeun, the court was told.

Meanchey district Governor Kuoch Chamroeun said he received specific orders from city Governor Kep Chuktema to ensure the woman was prosecuted, “ignoring interventions from top-level authorities”.

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