Two police officers accused in the shooting of a 29-year-old man who refused to pay a 2,000-riel ($0.50) bribe in the capital on Sunday have been sacked and will be sent to court to be charged, police said yesterday.
Phnom Penh deputy police chief Chuon Narin said police detained the two men on Monday, questioning them at length, before determining that they should be dealt with by a court rather than the National Police.
“We removed them from their posts, paving the way for court charges,” he said. “We will allow the court to carry out justice,” he said.
The suspects were named as municipal anti-drug police officer Yu Sokhea, who allegedly fired a K59 pistol at the victim, and Kong Dara, an officer in Russey Keo district’s Chraing Chamreh commune.
The shooting allegedly occurred after the victim refused to pay a bribe at an unofficial checkpoint in Russey Keo district.
The victim, Dy Vichey, remained in Calmette hospital yesterday, recovering from surgery that removed a bullet from his chest.
“I’m so disappointed about the actions of the two police officers,” he said.
“It is just nonsense this happened over 2,000 riel. I often pay them when I pass their station, but on that day I drove past without paying. They followed me on motorbikes, threw stones at my car, then shot me when I stopped.”
The victim’s brother, Dy Sopheak, said he had filed a complaint with Russey Keo police, accusing the officers of attempted murder.
“I demand $8,000 compensation and request that the court punish them,” he said.
Am Sam Ath, senior investigator at rights group Licadho, said that despite a directive from Prime Minister Hun Sen for officials to crack down on officers who recklessly fired their guns at people, such incidents still occur regularly.
Shootings like this damaged the reputation of authorities and prevented other officers from maintaining order, he said.
“If there continues to be more people like this, authorities must keep taking action,” Am said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Kim Yuthana at [email protected]