Days after a Poipet opposition party official was arrested over dubious claims he had run over an immigration police officer, a Banteay Meanchey provincial prosecutor has pushed back at mounting criticism of the case, insisting there was enough evidence to back the court’s charge of intentional violence.
Mang Puthy, deputy head of the CNRP in Poipet and director of union the Cambodia Informal Economy Reinforced Association, was sent to pre-trial detention on Saturday after allegedly hitting immigration official Chhean Pisith with his SUV.
But video of the incident, widely circulated on social media, shows Puthy’s car to be stationary when Pisith abruptly collapses in front of it, leading many to believe the official faked the fall.
In an unsigned statement on court letterhead sent to local media, deputy prosecutor Sok Keo Bandith insisted that Puthy, who was attempting to solve a dispute between a motorcycle driver and the police, ran over Pisith with his car despite being signalled to stop.
“All comments and the full story are in the statement. We have mentioned them in detail. We will continue to examine it,” Keo Bandith said yesterday, refusing to explain the car’s apparent lack of motion in the video.
Puthy is currently in pre-trial detention at the provincial prison on charges related to Article 218 of the Criminal Code dealing with intentional violence with aggravating circumstances.
Additionally, Keo Vanthan, deputy director of the general department of immigration, told local media yesterday that his department was considering filing a complaint against opposition lawmakers or any others who dubbed the incident “fake”.
However, when contacted yesterday, he denied saying so, adding that he had been misquoted by journalists.