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Kandal beating death spurs concurrent inquiries

Authorities conduct an investigation last week in Kandal after a man was killed after allegedly stealing a motorbike. National Police
Authorities conduct an investigation last week in Kandal after a man was killed after allegedly stealing a motorbike. National Police

Kandal beating death spurs concurrent inquiries

A Kandal prosecutor said yesterday that three concurrent investigations will be conducted into the death of a man alleged to have been beaten to death in police custody in Kandal’s Sa’ang district on Friday.

Provincial court prosecutor Lim Sokuntha said that provincial police, the provincial court and the National Police will each investigate the death of 26-year-old Chamroeun Seyha, who was allegedly beaten to death by three police officers after being mistaken as a robber and hauled in by district police officer Chhay Sina, 33.

Authorities initially blamed the beating on a mob of villagers, even as contradictory accounts from witnesses and a survivor began to emerge.

“We have sent a letter to the National Police asking them to launch their own investigation, too,” Sokuntha added. “Once they have finished their probe, they will send us a report.”

National Police spokesman Kirth Chantharith said yesterday that he had not received any such letter, but maintained it was “the duty of the Kandal provincial police to investigate”.

On Tuesday, provincial deputy police chief Roeun Nara rejected claims that the three suspects – Sina, along with district deputy police chief Pheadey Vitou, 33, and district police officer Kheang Songtheng, 31 – had fled town. However, yesterday provincial police chief Eav Chamroeun confirmed the men were indeed at large.

Chamroeun, who on Tuesday insisted the death was the result of a mob beating, acknowledged yesterday that the three officers were under investigation. “Our investigation will continue and if they made the mistake, they will receive punishment.”

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