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‘Rehabilitation’ request granted to former governor

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Former Bavet town governor Chhouk Bandith shot at and injured three factory workers in 2012 and spent 18 months in jail. Heng Chivoan

‘Rehabilitation’ request granted to former governor

The Phnom Penh Appeal Court on Thursday announced a verdict in absentia for former Bavet town governor Chhouk Bandith, ruling in favour of rehabilitation.

The verdict came after Bandith served his 18-month prison sentence for shooting three factory workers in 2012.

Judge Seng Sivutha said the Appeal Court heard the case on July 3 on Bandith’s rehabilitation request.

The court did not provide details regarding Bandith’s rehabilitation as he was absent from the courtroom.

“Having seen the request, the presiding judges granted rehabilitation to him,” the judge said.

Lawyer Yung Phanith said the word “rehabilitation” meant the restoration of a person to his or her former rights or authority.

“Rehabilitation nullifies all future effects of a criminal conviction on grounds that the term of his or her punishment has been completely served.

“If the court grants rehabilitation, it means the convict can now retain the status of an ordinary person with a full right to engage in all social activities and work,” Phanith said.

However, it was not made clear if Bandith will be reinstated to his former position as Bavet town governor.

Bandith shot at three workers protesting outside the Kaoway Sports Ltd factory in Bavet on February 20, 2012, injuring them.

He escaped for over three years but turned himself in and confessed on August 18, 2015, after Prime Minister Hun Sen called on the police to arrest him in cooperation with Interpol.

The Svay Rieng Provincial Court sentenced him to 18 months in prison for causing involuntary bodily harm and ordered him to pay 38 million riel ($9,279) to the three injured workers.

He served the 18-month prison sentence and was released on February 9, 2017.

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