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

  • LPG gas explosion injures 13 people, including foreigners, in Siem Reap

    An explosion on Wednesday at a liquid petroleum gas (LPG) car and tuk-tuk refuelling station in Siem Reap city has left 13 people, including an American and a Briton, suffering burns. The seven most severely burned, including a provincial police officer, were sent to a Thai

  • Over 100 Chinese nationals to be deported for online scam

    The Ministry of Interior is planning to deport 128 Chinese nationals after they were arrested in Preah Sihanouk province on Wednesday for their alleged involvement in an online money extortion scam. Y Sokhy, the head of the Department of Counter-terrorism and Transnational Crime, told The Post

  • More than 800 people test positive for HIV in 2018

    The National Aids Authority (NAA) said more than 800 people tested positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) last year, joining over 76,000 others aged between 15 and 49 in the Kingdom already infected with the virus. The spread of HIV/AIDS in the Kingdom is showing few signs of

  • Rainsy vow to return on Nov 9 dismissed as ‘political warfare’

    An announcement from the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) that its “acting president” Sam Rainsy would return to the Kingdom on November 9 was dismissed on Sunday as “political warfare”. The CNRP made the announcement on Friday after a permanent committee meeting chaired by