Lim Chamnan, son of Interior Ministry Secretary of State Pol Lim, has been demoted in rank and removed from his position as the deputy chief of Kandal’s Provincial Traffic Department for firing a gun on the street while fleeing an accident on Saturday, National Police spokesman Kirth Chantharith announced in a video posted on the National Police website on Tuesday.
“At the request of the National Police Chief and Sar Kheng, the minister of interior, we have decided to punish Lim Chamnan in three ways,” he said.
In addition to receiving a warning letter, Chamnan has been “demoted one rank from lieutenant colonel to a major and removed from his position as the deputy head of the traffic bureau to become a regular police officer”.
Chantharith also explained the decision behind not criminally charging Chamnan.
“We have checked the law and it does not state that shooting one time into the sky must be punished by a jail sentence. Therefore, when it is not stated in the law, we need to comply with the . . . discipline of the National Police,” he said, referring to an article from the National Police Regulations.
However, Sok Sam Oeun, a legal expert, said that firing a weapon in public is punishable under the law on arms control if there is sufficient evidence – a decision at the discretion of the Interior Ministry.
“Maybe there is enough evidence to discipline but not enough evidence for criminal charge,” he said. “It remains unclear as to what would constitute ‘sufficient evidence’”.
The collision and the shooting were captured by the other car’s dashboard camera, and Chamnan reportedly admitted to the incident.
In response to criticism that authorities are giving special treatment to Chamnan for his status as the son of a senior official, Chantharith assured the public that the policies of the Interior Ministry and the National Police do not “take anyone’s side”.
“The enforcement is not in favour of any son,” he said.