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Soldier summoned over shooting

Soldier summoned over shooting

Rann Reuy

The Siem Reap provincial court has summoned a military official who stands accused of shooting at a group of Forestry Administration officials in Varin district last month.

Rom Sa Eam, deputy director of the second office of Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Subdivision 5, has been ordered to appear in court on November 25.

“I heard [about the summons] through my boss, but I am not worried. I will answer according to what happened,” Rom Sa Eam said.

Rom Sa Eam and another soldier Roeun Sarim have been accused of firing a K-54 pistol at forestry officials and breaking the side mirror of a Toyota Camry driven by the officials during an incident on October 30. The officials were pursuing the pair because they were suspected of working as accomplices for illegal loggers.

Earlier this month, Rom Sa Eam wrote a letter of apology to the officials, offering to pay for the broken car mirror.

However, Thorng Sokhai, one of those allegedly fired on by Rom Sa Eam, said he and his colleagues had filed a civil complaint demanding US$25,000 in compensation.

“Rom Sa Eam and his colleagues stopped my car two to three times before shooting at me,” Thorng Sokhai said. “One shot at me and then turned to shoot at my colleagues and the car.”
Rom Sa Eam yesterday denied that he or his colleague had fired directly at the officials, claiming to have only shot once into the air before one of his soldiers broke the vehicle’s mirror by beating on it with a log.

He also said that he could not afford to pay $25,000 in civil compensation.

“I do not have money. If I had it, I would pay,” he said.