The last of three workers shot during a protest in Svay Rieng province’s Manhattan Special Economic Zone on February 20 filed a complaint yesterday against sole suspect and former Bavet town governor Chhouk Bandith.
Sam Sameth, 40, the mother of 18-year-old Keo Near, said she filed the complaint seeking US$45,000 in compensation from Chhouk Bandith for allegedly shooting her daughter in the hand.
She said she was originally tricked by the chief of her village in Bavet, who offered her money in return for not filing a complaint.
“I was cheated by my Prey Phdao village chief [Sok Sea]. He came to my house and said that the other two workers who got injured did not file a complaint, so I agreed with him not to file a complaint.”
She said she had not taken money from Sok Sea yet and so was not obligated to drop the complaint.
On March 7, Bavet town officials allegedly attempted to buy the silence of all three victims, 21-year-old Buot Chinda, 18-year-old Keo Near and 23-year-old Nuth Sakhorn, offering between $500 and $1,000 for them not to press charges.
Sok Sea said Sam Sameth could do as she pleased and that he had just been conveying an offer from Bavet town police chief Keo Kong.
“I really told her that Nuth Sakhorn did not file a complaint, but I did not ban her from filing a complaint,” he said.
The three women were shot at a protest of about 6,000 workers demanding a transport and meal allowance outside the Kaoway Sports Ltd shoe factory, which supplies sportswear giant PUMA.