Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov seeks to bounce ‘faker’



Gov seeks to bounce ‘faker’

Two witnesses greet a monk outside Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court yesterday. Photo supplied
Two witnesses greet a monk outside Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court yesterday. Photo supplied

Gov seeks to bounce ‘faker’

Chhean Pisith, the immigration officer accused of taking a dive in front of a unionist’s car in Poipet, should be moved out of the border town to quell public outrage and help put the incident to rest, Banteay Meanchey’s provincial governor said this week.

Speaking to provincial officials at a public order meeting on Monday, Provincial Governor Suon Bovor said transferring Pisith would help “calm” the furore caused by the Poipet deputy immigration chief’s widely doubted claims that he was struck by a car driven by local Cambodia National Rescue Party official and unionist Mang Puthy.

“This is the last choice, but the best choice to finish the case altogether,” Bovor said when contacted yesterday.

Bovor said provincial authorities, however, could not themselves transfer Pisith, as it was up to his superiors at the Interior Ministry.

Spokesman for the ministry’s general department of immigration Keo Vanthan yesterday said he was unaware of any plans to move the officer.

Pisith’s claim that he was injured by Puthy’s car caused an uproar in December when video footage emerged showing the official dropping abruptly in front of the seemingly stationary vehicle, then proceeding to claim he was seriously injured.

The incident, which prompted outrage and merciless ridicule on social media, further incensed the public when additional video clips emerged showing Pisith strolling seemingly uninjured through a Thai guesthouse just days later.

Bovor said transferring Pisith would be a “win-win” despite the fact that Puthy, director of the Cambodia Informal Economy Reinforced Association (CIERA), remains in pre-trial detention, charged with intentional aggravated violence.

He said though authorities could not intervene in the courts, he would try to bring Puthy and Pisith’s families together to find a solution.

“We want them all to coordinate this case together.”

Yesterday, meanwhile, three witnesses appeared at the Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court to testify on behalf of Puthy who also goes by Din Puthy according to his lawyer, Kim Socheat. Socheat said no trial date had been set as the court continues to investigate the case.

Oun Chinvon, one of the three, said he was questioned for two hours.

“They questioned me over what happened at the scene. I told them that Din Puthy did not hit the policeman, the car did not move quick enough to cause injuries like this,” Chinvon said.

Nghent Neang, another of the witnesses, said he gave a similar account. “We hope that the court will find justice for Din Puthy,” he said.

Meanwhile, Puthy’s wife, Hum Srean, said her husband was suffering in prison, where she visited him yesterday.

“I pity him so much, he lacks energy and is sick. I hope he will get out from jail.”

CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann appealed to the court to handle the case fairly.

“There is a lot of evidence, a lot of reaction from the people on the ground,” he said. “They must do the investigation independently, not with political motivations, to find justice.”

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

  • 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

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • 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

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and