Two former Phnom Penh police officers were tried in absentia yesterday for the attempted murder of a 17-year-old boy, some nine years after the alleged act.
Around midnight on February 14, 2005, officers Tin Domann 52, and Kim Vuthy 35, were patrolling the Chraing Chamreh II commune in Russey Keo district, according to Kor Vandy, presiding judge of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
The two officers, armed with AK-47 rifles, encountered two boys – Chea Hosann, 17, and his younger brother Chea Sary, 12 – walking home from a Lunar New Year party.
“When they saw the two victims walking at midnight, they pointed their guns at them and ordered them to stop and lie on the ground,” Vandy said.
“But because the two victims did not lie on the ground as they were ordered, [the officers] fired three bullets into the ground nearby the [boys’] feet. One of the bullets hit Chea Hosann’s left leg, causing him serious injury.”
The boys were arrested and taken to the station for questioning until their parents came and brought the injured boy to a hospital.
The suspended officers were charged with attempted murder in 2005, and the case was brought to trial yesterday after a long negotiation process stalled. The family is demanding $10,000 in compensation.
Defence lawyer Mon Vimean Champa said her clients received a complaint on the night of the incident that 15 youths were making trouble at a dance party in Chraing Chamreh II commune. The officers rode to the area to respond to the complaint.
“The reason my clients stopped the [boys] and ordered them to lie on the ground was to check whether they had weapons, because they were suspected to be a part of the group provoking trouble,” she said.
“My clients did this just to fulfill their duties and provide security and safety to the people in the commune.… Therefore, I would like to ask the court to drop charges against them,” she added.
A verdict will be read on April 12.