Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CPP lawmaker steps in on suspect’s behalf

CPP lawmaker steps in on suspect’s behalf

CPP lawmaker Bou Lam speaks to villagers on Wednesday about their petition to release an official accused of involvement in a Ratanakkiri prison break.
CPP lawmaker Bou Lam speaks to villagers on Wednesday about their petition to release an official accused of involvement in a Ratanakkiri prison break. Photo supplied

CPP lawmaker steps in on suspect’s behalf

Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker Bou Lam said yesterday a senior Ratanakkiri prison guard who was accused of facilitating a prison break will soon be released from jail due to his intervention, but the province’s top judge said the lawmaker was confused.

Kyal Pa Ngarng was charged on July 14 with helping five people escape from the provincial prison in May, where he had long served as the chief guard. He has since been kept in pre-trial detention in the prison of neighbouring Stung Treng province.

Lam, the sole lawmaker for Ratanakkiri, said that he had called court President Sous La to intervene to secure his release after 100 of Pa Ngarng’s fellow ethnic Kreung had submitted a petition saying the decision to charge him over the escape was an error.

“This was the fault of the court, so we asked the court to re-investigate the case [to see] if they made mistakes,” Lam said, explaining that the intervention was a success. “The president, Suos La, rang me today and told me the suspect would be released in the next four days.”

“The court re-investigated the case, and he is innocent – it was just someone accusing him.”

Lam also appeared in a video posted to the National Police’s Facebook page yesterday saying he had made the request in order to ensure his constituents continued to be satisfied with the CPP government.

In the video, Lam said that he intervened “to find justice to make the people happy with the leadership of the prime minister [Hun Sen], and with his leadership of the CPP."

“As a lawmaker, I have to help the ethnic minority to make them happy with my mandate,” he said.

La, the provincial court president, said that he had called the CPP lawmaker about his request for a release, but in fact had told him only he would ensure the case is expedited if he submitted a bail request.

“I can only push the judge to have a look at the case, or make the procedures go faster,” La said.

“He probably got confused. I told him he could make a request for bail, and then the judge would likely make a decision,” he explained. “He did not understand – the judge usually takes four or five days to decide on a case according to [legal] principles.”

Investigating Judge Chhuon Chan Seyha, who laid the charges against Pa Ngarng and refused him bail on July 14, could not be reached yesterday. Hak Hong, the prosecutor on the case, said only that bail requests were up to the judge on the case.

“I have no idea. A request for bail is up to the judge,” Hong said, declining to comment further.

MOST VIEWED

  • Reuters: US Embassy fired 32 staff members for sharing pornography

    The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh has fired 32 non-diplomatic staff members who were allegedly caught exchanging pornographic images and video, including of minors, according to the news agency Reuters. Four sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the content was shared in

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Huge timber haul seized in Kratie raid, suspects sought

    Kratie provincial authorities were searching on Wednesday for the owners of hundreds of cubic metres of first-grade timber found loaded onto seven heavy trucks during a raid on a warehouse in Snuol district. After getting a tip-off, Military Police, police, Forestry Administration and court officials