Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t stands by their man



Gov’t stands by their man

Immigration officer Chhean Pisith, wearing a neck brace, is pushed through a Banteay Meanchey hospital in a wheelchair on December 22 after alleging he was hit by a car. Photo supplied
Immigration officer Chhean Pisith, wearing a neck brace, is pushed through a Banteay Meanchey hospital in a wheelchair on December 22 after alleging he was hit by a car. Photo supplied

Gov’t stands by their man

Government officials yesterday continued their stalwart defence of immigration official Chhean Pisith, despite the release of CCTV footage that shows Pisith walking without so much as a limp just days after claiming a CNRP official had struck him down with his SUV.

Three videos of surveillance footage leaked to a Facebook page on Friday show Pisith strolling through a Thai guesthouse on December 27 with a female companion. The video, which Pisith is said to have decried as a violation of his privacy, created a new wave of reactions over the weekend from Cambodian netizens, only solidifying widespread doubts over the merits of the case.

Pisith was sent to a Thai hospital after Mang Puthy, a local unionist and CNRP official, allegedly hit Pisith with his car five days earlier as he attempted to intervene in a dispute between the immigration officer and a local motodop.

Puthy was sent to pre-trial detention on a charge of aggravated intentional violence, but in a video of the incident released on social media, the car appears to be completely immobile when Pisith collapses in front of it. He was later photographed in a wheelchair and wearing a neck brace.

Sim Samarth, chief of immigration police at Poipet, said after being hit on December 22, Pisith was discharged on December 24 and was at the guesthouse awaiting documentation from the hospital.

“Why are people on Facebook criticising him because he got better and the hospital allowed him to go back home?” he asked.

Samarth added that officials had medical records to prove the extent of Pisith’s injuries but would not publish them on Facebook and would instead submit them to the Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court as evidence.

The video from the Thai guesthouse was posted on Facebook under an account with the name Ton Sen. Contacted yesterday, the man using the account refused to reveal his name but admitted to posting the videos online.

The man, who sent messages to Post reporters via Facebook, said he had been in touch with the person who shot the videos of the security footage and volunteered to post them after the other person got cold feet.

“Someone gave it to me via Facebook chat. So I have the right to post it on Facebook in public,” he said. “I want the court to know that [Pisith] is a liar.”

He later posted a video of himself alleging that Pisith was performing the charade to get a promotion. “Five-year-old children do acts like this. If he was injured badly, how did he get better so fast?” he asked.

Yesterday, Pheng Vannak, an official at the Interior Ministry, said Pisith had called the videos a breach of his privacy and that he was requesting that Thai police investigate the leak.

Following Puthy’s arrest, both Banteay Menachey prosecutor Sok Keo Bandith and the Interior Ministry released statements saying there were no irregularities in the charges, backing the police’s investigation.

However, opposition spokesman Yim Sovann yesterday said the ministry needed to re-evaluate the case in light of the new videos.

“This does not seem politically motivated. But information on Facebook shows irregularities and they need to give answers to the public,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Nine US franchises eye Cambodia debut

    Nine famous US franchising companies are looking for business opportunities and expansion into Cambodia to build a footstep for a strong foundation in Southeast Asia. The US embassy in Phnom Penh, in partnership with the US Foreign Commercial Service and with support from the American

  • Lost in translation: ‘Starvation’ in capital’s designated red zones

    “DACH bay” is a Khmer slang meaning a “loss of income”, that could also be literally translated to «deprived of rice”, which alludes to starvation. However, civil society organisation (CSO) officials have independently confirmed the government’s prior assertions that there are no cases of