Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kandal cops called to court

Kandal cops called to court

Thon Vy, a relative of Chamroeun Seyha, sits at her house in Kandal province last year after Chamroeun died from injuries allegedly sustained during a beating at the hands of police officers.
Thon Vy, a relative of Chamroeun Seyha, sits at her house in Kandal province last year after Chamroeun died from injuries allegedly sustained during a beating at the hands of police officers. Mech Dara

Kandal cops called to court

Three on-the-run police officers accused of beating a man to death have been called before the Kandal Provincial Court, following the questioning of their fellow policemen and villagers who witnessed the beating last week.

Sa’ang district Deputy Police Chief Pheadey Vitou, 33; head of Police Immigration Bureau Chhay Sina, 33; and District Deputy Chief of Forensic Police Kheang Songtheng, 31, have been summonsed to answer questions before the court, some six months after the death of Chamroeun Seyha, 26.

The three repeatedly claimed Seyha was killed by a mob of villagers who suspected him of theft – which was roundly contradicted by other witnesses.

Vitou, Sina and Songtheng were fired from their posts in March for failing to appear at work. Their superior, Sa’ang District Police Chief Seng Socheat, confirmed he appeared at court on April 26 to answer investigating judge Hok Vanthina’s questions about the “aggravated violence” the officers allegedly committed.

“The case is not involved with us and we are just witnesses. The one who committed it was Pheadey Vitou, Chhay Sina and Kheang Songtheng, who must face the investigating judge and prosecutor because they are the ones who are responsible for it in face of the law,” Socheat said. “We have not known yet whether they came to appear at the court or not . . . It is up to the investigating judge and prosecutor to decide [if they are guilty].”

Khim Sok Hai, Prek Koy deputy commune police chief, was present on the day Seyha was killed, but maintains the officers’ innocence. “I have seen some villagers having beaten him and they beat me too, but some people and some radio [stations] did not report [this], because they are biased against the authorities,” he said.

Around five police were called to answer questions, as well as around 10 villagers. Investigating Judge Hok Vanthina declined to comment yesterday.

Mak Bunna, believed to be a lawyer for the absent trio, claimed yesterday he was merely an assistant in their case and also declined to comment.

The victim’s wife, Khuon Sreymom, said she had seen the police officers’ lawyers in the courtroom. After the killing, she received $20,000 in compensation for her loss and was questioned in court about her use of those funds.

“This compensation money would not be worth my husband’s life . . . He worked and got paid more than this to support our family, but we have no choice. We need to take the money to support my children,” she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom’s domestic milk still cannot compete with imports

    Price competition and a lack of confidence by consumers are the main reasons the dairy market cannot compete with imports, said domestic milk producers. The large displays of imported fresh milk at the Kingdom’s supermarkets present a cumbersome obstacle for local producers, they said.

  • ‘Pesticide-laden cucumbers’ kill two, poison 150 in Banteay Meanchey

    At least two youths have died and 243 others are being treated for vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties, dizziness and muscle weakness after they ate cucumbers suspected to consist of pesticides. The incident happened on Saturday, said Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief Ath Khem. He told The

  • Three dead, 13 injured in collapse at Siem Reap pagoda

    At least three people were killed and more than 10 others injured on Monday after a dining hall under construction collapsed at Prasat Kokchak pagoda in Kokchak commune, Siem Reap province. Provincial police chief Tith Narong said Military Police, soldiers and local volunteers had successfully recovered 16

  • Forest Harmony’s $18M luxury villas break ground in Kampot

    Local and French joint-venture Forest Harmony has broken ground on its $18 million “second-home” Luxury Holiday Villas project in Kampot province. Century 21 Mekong CEO and local shareholder of the project Chrek Soknim told The Post that the project will comprise 90 villa units covering 18ha on a 97

  • China Unicom enters Cambodia

    China Unicom, the country’s largest telecoms operator, has expanded into Cambodia to build optical telecommunication pathways in the Kingdom as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Hong Kong-listed company officially opened its China Unicom (Cambodia) subsidiary on Monday to become the

  • PP-SHV Expressway on track for completion in early 2023

    The construction of the $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, which broke ground at the end of March, is on track to be completed by early 2023, Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya said on Monday. The 190km high-speed highway linking the capital to the