A Pailin province man has been arrested for allegedly seriously injuring his wife when he accidentally shot her in the stomach while repairing his homemade rifle, with the wife’s family members asking for his release.
Fifty-two-year-old Meas Kem was watching her husband, Khoeun Prech, 49, fix the air rifle before going hunting when Prech accidentally triggered the makeshift musket, shooting Kem in the arm and abdomen on Monday afternoon in O’Chra Lech village, in Pailin’s Boryakha commune, said Pailin Town Police Chief Yem Sarith.
“The husband was arrested and interrogated at Pailin Town Police Station for … possession and use of an illegal homemade rifle that injured his wife,” Sarith said, adding that the authorities were currently preparing a case on the charge of “illegal weapons possession”.
He added that Kem was now at the Battambang provincial hospital. Prech, Sarith said, had himself been injured by a mine explosion five years ago when he went hunting with other villagers near the Cambodia-Thailand border.
Yesterday morning, Kem's relatives and the couple's four children urged authorities to free the man, but Pailin authorities rejected the demand.
The brother of the victim, Meas Vandy, 25, said his brother-in-law hadn’t committed a crime. “His wife is in hospital and their small children need him to take care of them,” he said. “Moreover, the homemade rifle just malfunctioned and was triggered.”
He said his sister’s condition had improved after a successful surgery to remove the projectile from her stomach.