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

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year