Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bandith living well in jail: org




Bandith living well in jail: org

Former Bavet town governor Chhouk Bandith sits at a Phnom Penh police station earlier this month after turning himself in to authorities.
Former Bavet town governor Chhouk Bandith sits at a Phnom Penh police station earlier this month after turning himself in to authorities. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Bandith living well in jail: org

Former Bavet town governor Chhouk Bandith is enjoying preferential treatment in prison, according to an NGO with access to the facility, while the three garment workers he was jailed for shooting have still not received compensation.

According to Nut Bopinroth, Svay Rieng provincial coordinator for rights group Licadho, Bandith is waited on and allowed considerably more freedom than other inmates at Svay Rieng Provincial Prison.

“He has someone to get water for him and he can leave his cell and stay in the library all day,” Bopinroth said, adding that other prisoners have to take turns with each other to leave the cell for recreation.

However, Svay Rieng Provincial Prison director Suos Sakhu denied that Bandith was being treated favourably, saying that he shares a 5-metre-by-6-metre cell with other 30 prisoners.

“Reading books in the library is simple, and every prisoner can do it,” he said.

Bandith is currently serving an 18-month sentence handed down to him more than two years ago for shooting the three workers as they took part in a demonstration as the Kaoway Sports factory in the Manhattan Special Economic Zone in February 2012.

After remaining at large following his conviction in absentia, he finally turned himself in on August 8 – less than a week after Prime Minister Hun Sen broke his long silence on the case to demand Bandith be brought to justice.

As well as the prison sentence, the former governor was ordered to pay his victims more than $9,000 in compensation.

But they have so far received none of the money, and yesterday called for the payment process to be speeded up.

“Justice has been done, but the compensation remains unpaid,” said Nut Sakhon, who was shot in the hand by Bandith, after he indiscriminately fired a pistol into the crowd of protesting workers.

“We need it for buying medicine and not for anything else,” she said.

Another of the victims, Keo Near, yesterday said that they have appealed to the court to force Bandith to pay the compensation.

Sakhon and Near were both shot in the hand, and are due 8 million riel (around $1,950) and 10 million riel, respectively.

The third victim, Buot Chinda, had her lung punctured by a bullet that narrowly missed her heart and is due 20 million riel.

According to the women’s lawyer, Sary Bothchakrya, the payment of the compensation will only likely be resolved once Bandrith’s appeal at the Supreme Court has been ruled on.

Kim Santepheap, a spokesman for the Ministry of Justice, yesterday said he was unaware of the status of the appeal, but said it may be resolved soon.

MOST VIEWED

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • Bill covering dress code draws ire

    Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ouk Kim Lek responded on Tuesday to criticism concerning a draft law that would ban women from wearing overly revealing clothing, saying that input from all parties will be considered as the law moves through the promulgation process. Several

  • Passing the test: Is Cambodia’s education system failing its people?

    The Kingdom’s education system needs to grow its people but some flaws might stifle​ this growth Coming from the Khmer Rouge occupation, with the loss of many scholars and academicians and a collapsed government, the education system had to be reconstructed from scratch – one

  • What’s the deal with Cambodia and China’s FTA?

    Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China kicks off a series of FTAs in future but for now, critics wonder what else the parties could bring to the table apart from what it already has to date By the end of this year, Cambodia