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Collision with general allegedly ends in attack

Collision with general allegedly ends in attack

A tractor driver has alleged he was hit by a car carrying a two-star general in Phnom Penh on Friday night, beaten by the driver, then forced by military police to pay for damage to the vehicle.

Neang Vuthy said yesterday he had been driving his motorbike along Northbridge road, in Sen Sok District’s Toek Thla commune, about 10pm when he was hit by a car owned by General Hong Vinol, Chief Commissioner of the Military Police’s Security and Information Department.

“My motorbike collapsed and I jumped away from it. When I was falling down on the road, the general’s driver came from the car towards me and beat me with several punches to my head and face,” he said.

Neang Vuthy said he was then dragged to a military police office where officers beat him again, impounded his motorbike and demanded he pay US$800 for damage to the general’s car after releasing him the following morning about 3am.

“The general’s driver drove the car that hit me, but I was forced to pay him. I think  this is a great injustice, because I was not wrong, but I had no choice. I had to pay them because they had the power,” he said.  

Hong Vinol and his driver could not be reached for comment yesterday but a traffic police officer, who declined to give his name, confirmed that the driver of the general’s car had hit Neang Vuthy after swerving to avoid a pothole.

“Our traffic police were banned from getting involved or resolving the accident. We would not dare to intervene to [save] the victim from the beating, because we were afraid of the general’s power,” he said.

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