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Court considers probe in ‘mob beating’ death

Sok Noeun, 36, holds a portrait of her late son, Phal Narou, 15, who was beaten by a mob after he was allegedly caught stealing earlier this month in Phnom Penh.
Sok Noeun, 36, holds a portrait of her late son, Phal Narou, 15, who was beaten by a mob after he was allegedly caught stealing earlier this month in Phnom Penh. Erin Handley

Court considers probe in ‘mob beating’ death

The alleged mob killing of a 15-year-old boy that rattled a Stung Meanchey community last week was yesterday transferred to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to consider an investigation, police said.

Meanchey District Deputy Police Chief Hour Mengvang said yesterday that the death of the boy, whom villagers suspected was a thief, was now “in the hands of the administration”.

“We have just submitted this case to the court,” he said.

On Sunday, Mengvang said that police considered the death of Phal Narou – who was allegedly caught red-handed by villagers, had his hands tied, was badly beaten and eventually drowned in a nearby lake – as a case of “unintentional murder”. “If we are [talking about the accused], it is the whole village who flocked to beat him,” he said at the time.

Most villagers on Sunday denied being present at the beating, with many claiming Narou had drowned himself as villagers were preparing to hand him over to police.

Narou’s mother, Sok Noeun, said she was happy to hear her son’s case had progressed to the court but that she had little hope.

She said she borrowed money to pay for the funeral and did not have any left to do what she saw as necessary to receive justice – pay money to officials.

“It is like a cow eating the grass, but we do not have grass to give to the cow, so what can I hope for?” she said.

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