A 49-year-old man was arrested and sent to Ratanakkiri Provincial Court today for killing his son-in-law, apparently after witnessing his daughter being beaten.

Police say the father, Prak Pearun, beat his 35-year-old son-in-law Seng Chan Doeun to death with a bamboo stick on Tuesday afternoon in Kon Mom district’s Trapaing Chres commune after Doeun became drunk and began kicking and slapping his wife, Pearun's daughter.

Chea Dara, director of the provincial military police penal crime office, said the father confessed to the killing but claimed that he killed his son-in-law “unintentionally”.

Dara said police believe the man's explanation because the bamboo stick did not appear big enough to kill someone. He added that police think Doeun's death was at least partially caused by fainting due to excessive drinking.

Trapaing Chres commune chief Y Darong said Doeun often beat his wife and father-in-law when drunk.

According to Darong, Doeun got drunk on Tuesday and began beating his wife, triggering an argument with his wife’s father, who beat the man unconscious. The son was transferred to a district health centre where he died, Darong said.

Commune police concluded that the victim died from injuries caused by a hard object. He was initially charged by police with an "intentional act of violence with aggravating circumstances of the death of victim".

Additional reporting by Phak Seangly