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Soldier grilled over fatal shooting of alleged motorbike thief in capital

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Police inspect the scene in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district on Thursday. FN

Soldier grilled over fatal shooting of alleged motorbike thief in capital

A soldier was held for questioning on March 24 shortly after fatally shooting one of the men who had just allegedly stolen his motorcycle in Prey Sar commune of Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district.

District deputy police chief Cheang Hok Se said the deceased’s five alleged accomplices escaped when the soldier gave them a short chase in the early hours of March 24.

“We are still investigating this case and have yet to make further arrests,” he said.

Municipal police spokesman San Sokseyha confirmed to The Post that officers were working on the case.

Citing witnesses, a Prey Sar commune police officer who asked not to be named said that at around 5am that day, a man was riding a motorcycle along Street 30, near the Baku traffic lights in the commune. As the man was riding, a group of six men on three motorcycles kicked him from his bike and made off with it.

As they fled the scene, the soldier fired 10 shots, killing one of them instantly.

Lawyer Yong Phanit explained the legal ramifications of the soldier’s action, saying that the force used to defend oneself must be proportionate. In this case, he said the alleged thieves had attempted to take the soldier’s belonging, so he had the right to defend it. But, the lawyer noted, the response may have over-compensated for the threat.

“If one side in a confrontation is made up of many people and the other is a single person, but the single person has a knife, for example, he can injure his assailants by cutting them. If he has a firearm, he should attempt to aim for the legs of the perpetrators so as to just wound them,” he said.

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