Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cop arrested for striking military police

Cop arrested for striking military police

Cop arrested for striking military police

130204 06b
Phnom Penh Municipal Police Chief Choun Sovann speaks to the Post yesterday. Photograph: Buth ReaKsmey Kongkea/Phnom Penh Post

A senior police official may face criminal charges for allegedly striking two military police officers guarding the crematorium of King Father Norodom Sihanouk yesterday, police said.

National Military Police spokesman Kheng Tito said Phnom Penh Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Choun Sovann was accused of hitting military police officer Vong Bunna and another unnamed military police officer because he mistakenly believed the two men had allowed mourners access to the crematorium at Veal Preah Meru, the area in front of the National Museum, yesterday morning through an unofficial, restricted entrance.

“He probably didn't sleep enough last night because he is busy with work,” Tito said. “He got angry with our two military police officers who were guarding the Preah Meru site... So he took his I-com [radio] and hit them.”

According to Tito, a crowd who had come to pay their final respects to the King Father were climbing fences to enter the crematorium’s grounds, later pushing the fences aside to gain unfettered access to the grounds. The two guards had tried to stop the intruders but were unsuccessful.

When Sovann arrived, Tito continued, he assumed the two guards had opened the gates to allow the crowd access, and flew into a rage, hitting the two men with his hand-held radio.

The guards were spared further lashing when nearby police and military police intervened, Tito said. Both were later sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Military Police headquarters to give statements.

“He has a three-star general police rank and is the highest police official, but he used violence, and beat military police officers in public at the late King Father’s funeral ceremony,” Tito said of Sovann. “His activities have affected the national police’s reputation.

“He is the chief of police in Phnom Penh and was working for a national police institution,” he added, noting that Sovann had no authority over the military police. “He had no right to beat military police officers who work for another police institution.”

Tito said this case would be raised after the completion of the funeral ceremony, and that the two officers planned to file an official complaint in court against Sovann for committing a “violent act”.

The two military police officers, as well as Phnom Penh Municipal Military Police commander Brigadier General Ya Kim Y, could not be reached   for comment yesterday.

In an interview yesterday, Sovann adamantly denied the accusations, and maintained that as he was the head of security for the funeral, the two officers were indeed under his command.

“Working on behalf of the National Police, as well as being the operating commander of mixed police and military police for the late King Father’s funeral ceremony, I could not have done such a stupid thing as this,” he said.

Sovann added that if he had wanted the two officers beaten, he would have delegated the job.

 “I have many of my own police officers under my command that I could have ordered to do this for me.”

Sovann admitted he had been angry with the two officers, but said that if he had actually committed the act, there would be evidence.

“If I had really done it... I think a photo of the violent acts would have been taken by other journalists or people who have iPhones or cameras, and they would post it on Facebook,” he said.

 

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at [email protected]
 

MOST VIEWED

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release