A military police official who allegedly opened fire into the air in the capital last week has been charged with illegal possession of a firearm, according to court officials.
The suspect, Touch Bopheap, was sent to jail on Friday after firing 10 shots near the offices of the Union of Journalist Federations of Cambodia the previous Monday.
Ly Sophanna, spokesperson for the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said Bopheap has been charged with illegal weapons possession but hasn’t incurred any additional charges for firing the gun.
“Judge Kert Saing decided to put the accused Touch Bopheap in pretrial detention for ‘illegal gun possession’ according to Article 490 of the Criminal Code,” Sophanna said.
The charge carries a possible sentence of six months to three years and a fine between 1 million and 6 million riel (about $250 to $1,500).
Legal expert Sok Sam Oeun said there is no explicit law against firing a weapon in public, but there is a general prohibition on “using” firearms.
“In Article 20 of Gun Control Law 2005, those who carry, possess, and use [a firearm] will face between six months to two years,” he said.