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Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

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Koh Kong Provincial Court jusge Kong Khemara alleges the victim stole his wallet as he was walking to a barbershop, which prompted him to give chase. FACEBOOK

Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her.

District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The Post on Thursday that the judge, Kong Khemara, was detained on Wednesday afternoon after he crashed his car into 30-year-old Say Kimny’s motorbike on the Phnom Penh-Hanoi road in Kouk Khleang commune’s Roung Chakr village, in the capital’s Sen Sok district.

“After completing questioning, a police officer decided to file a case of unintentional manslaughter and sent him [Kong Khemara] to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday afternoon.”

Meng Vang said Khemara claimed Kimny stole his wallet containing almost $10,000 in cash while he was walking into a barbershop in Phnom Penh Thmei commune’s Pong Peay village. He said he followed her in his car as she drove away on her motorbike.

He said he made a manoeuvre to avoid a car in front of him, which caused him to crash into Kimny’s motorbike.

Meng Vang said Kimny was a resident of Khmuonh commune’s Sen Sok village in Sen Sok district. Her body was handed over to her family for final rites.

Khemara’s sports utility vehicle and Kimny’s motorbike were taken to the district police station where they are being temporarily stored.

Ministry of Justice secretary of state Kim Santepheap said in principle, people have the right to detain someone who has stolen from them so they can send the perpetrator to police for questioning and legal proceedings.

But victims of theft cannot use violence that causes injury or death to a suspect or perpetrator.

Santepheap said the public often gets confused as to who is to blame when accidents between cars and motorcycles occur. They often blame the car’s driver when a victim on a motorbike is injured or killed.

“The law of road traffic accidents doesn’t identify matters that way,” he said.

In regard to the accident involving Khemara and Kimny, Santepheap said: “I think we should let the authorities and relevant bodies investigate and take the necessary steps.”

Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Kuch Kimlong told The Post that the case was still under investigation by the prosecutor.

It should be recalled that on August 12, 2018, a Chinese woman, Yuan Tang, caused the death of a person after she followed a group of thieves who stole her phone.

Tang was sentenced to prison for an unknown amount of time by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court investigating Judge Theam Chanpiseth.

Kimlong said Tang was charged by municipal deputy prosecutor Va Sakada with two offences under the Criminal Code – intentional violence under Article 218 and intentional violence which caused a death under Article 224.

She was also charged under Article 75 of the Road Traffic law for driving without a licence.

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