Two men have been arrested over the shooting of a Mondulkiri forestry official earlier this month.
One of the suspects is the editor of a local newspaper and the other has been accused of illegal logging.
Heng Chantra, 44, a deputy forestry official in Sen Monorom town, was shot three times, injuring his left arm.
Police allege that on the night of July 4, Chantra was on patrol in his car when he stopped two men: Len Komrey, 37, who is allegedly involved in the illegal logging trade, and Pum Peurn, 48, editor-in-chief of Angkor Borei News.
Komrey then asked Chantra who he was and where he was from, according to Sou Sovann, Mondulkiri provincial deputy police chief in charge of central justice. Chantra replied that he was a forestry police officer.
“Suddenly, Len Komrey stepped backward for a few steps and took out a gun, shooting three times at Chantra and injuring him in the left arm before escaping in his own car with his accomplice,” Sovann explained.
“It is an intentional shooting and the suspects were using an illegal weapon.”
The pair fled the scene after officers patrolling the area with Chantra fired shots back at them, said Kep Kort, provincial forestry administration director.
Komrey was arrested on Friday in Tbong Khmum province, while Peurn was arrested on Sunday in Phnom Penh.
The suspects claimed they shot the victim because they were angry he had addressed them without lowering his car door’s window.
“This explanation is not acceptable,” Sovann said. “We think it is connected with our crackdown on illegal logging.”
Sou Sovichea, provincial deputy prosecutor, said the two men were sent to court yesterday afternoon. By then the court had already closed, however, so they were detained for another night in police custody and will be questioned today.
Chantra is recovering from his wound at home.