Kandal provincial court yesterday charged a police officer with murder for allegedly shooting and killing a fisherman in Sa’ang district, and injuring two others in the dispute.
Sa’ang district Police Chief Meang Pich said the 40-year-old suspect was charged yesterday afternoon after being transferred into provincial police custody. The suspect was arrested and detained by district police on Monday.
“He is now in prison,” said Meang Pich.
The provincial court could not be reached for comment yesterday.
According to district and Adhoc officials, the dispute occurred on Monday when the suspect caught three fishermen using illegal nets on Boeung Ta Nhov lake in Kraing Yov commune.
Men Makara, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said the suspect allegedly sought bribe money from the victims, who refused to pay.
The suspect then allegedly shot all three fishermen, including San Seng, 37, who died from chest wounds. Yong Sokheang, 27, suffered serious injuries from a gunshot wound to the knee and is being treated in Preah Kossomak Hospital in Phnom Penh.
A third victim, 37-year-old Pheng Neth, suffered a wound to his arm, but was released from hospital.
Chhon Sarun, an uncle of the hospitalized victim, said yesterday that his nephew was still recovering, but was unable to move on account of his wounded knee. He expressed concern that his family would be unable to cover his nephew’s medical costs.
“We are so poor. How could we earn money to pay the treatment?” said Chhon Sarun.
Meang Pich said yesterday that district officials contributed 1 million riel (US$247) for Sang Seng’s funeral costs, in addition to 500,000 riel ($124) to help with Yong Sokheang’s medical bills.
Men Makara said he was pleased with the police and court’s quick response in arresting the suspect.
“It is a message to warn other officials not to punish villagers who did wrong, through shooting,” he said.