Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Dispute at army base turns tragic

Dispute at army base turns tragic

Dispute at army base turns tragic

An infantry lieutenant fatally shot a fellow officer’s wife during a domestic dispute with his own wife on an army base in Pursat province early yesterday, military officials said.

Brigadier General Nuon Se, commander of the 508th Infantry Regiment based in Veal Veng district, said third lieutenant Sam Kuon, 45, was immediately arrested after allegedly shooting to death Prak Theany, 49, outside her home, and was sent to military court in Phnom Penh to be officially charged after questioning by Pursat provincial military police.

“He got drunk, and he had a conflict with his wife, so he used his pistol to threaten to kill his wife,” Se said, noting that the incident took place about 1am. “But when he was pointing the gun at his wife and threatening to shoot her, the neighbours, [one of whom] was also a military officer, came to intervene and stop him from shooting.

“When the husband of the victim was coming to intervene and stop him from shooting his wife, the suspect attempted to shoot him, but unfortunately, the bullets hit the man’s wife, who died immediately at the scene.”

Another officer on the base, Captain Neh Sarin, said Kuon had begun beating his wife after finding her at the victim’s home, incensed that he had come home from a drinking session to an empty house.

 The shooting occurred when the victim’s husband tried to stop the beating.

According to Sarin, Kuon was preliminarily accused by military officials of intentional murder. If found guilty, he faces at least 20 years in jail.

Brigadier General Chhum Seng Huon, chief of staff of the 5th Military Region based in Veal Veng district, said leadership would implement measures, such as stricter control over the use of weapons and ammunition, in order to prevent further shootings.

“To prevent such illegal shootings in Pursat province in the future, we will strengthen discipline and regulations for all of our armed forces,” he said, adding that offenders would face “strong sanctions”.

Am Sam Ath, a technical supervisor for the rights group Licadho, said such shooting sprees had been increasing in frequency and were a real concern for Cambodians, noting that tighter regulations — for both the military and police — were only part of the solution.  

“They should also conduct training about human rights and other related laws for them, so they will clearly be aware about human rights and the laws,” Ath said.

“And to put an end to the culture of impunity in Cambodia, the government should bring those who have committed shooting sprees or crimes to the court to be punished by law,” he added.

MOST VIEWED

  • EU officials: Ending EBA an 18-month procedure

    EU officials have confirmed that it will take a total of 18 months to complete the procedure if Cambodia’s preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) trade agreement is to be withdrawn. According to EU Agriculture and Rural Development spokesman Daniel Rosario, the formal process has not

  • IPU slams government claim

    The president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Gabriela Cuevas Barron, has refuted a claim by the National Assembly that she “highly appreciated the achievements of Cambodia” in its July national elections with a tweet saying “Of course not!” before adding “No congratulations”. A delegation from

  • 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

  • Conflict lingers on Paris Accords

    As the Kingdom prepares to commemorate on October 23 the 27th anniversary of the signing of the 1991 Paris Peace Accords, which ushered in an end to nearly two decades of civil war, there is political conflict on whether the tenets of the agreement are still being