A disabled accountant has decided to drop his complaint against two border military officials who assaulted him on March 25 over an electric bill dispute.
Sok Titya, who uses a wheelchair and works for electricity firm MSP in Pailin’s Sala Krao district, withdrew his complaint after consulting with Pailin provincial governor Phan Chanthul, provincial military officers, officers from Military Region 5, and the provincial prosecutor.
Titya first filed the complaint on March 29.
“We Khmer citizens must understand each other, and the provincial governor, military officers and prosecutor helped facilitate this agreement.
“Plus, the Kingdom is dealing with Covid-19. We need military officers to provide service. I opened up my mind and chose not to take any compensation from them,” he said.
On the day of the incident, 10 military officers arrived at Titya’s firm to pay an electricity bill in arrears for a military unit.
Since the bill in question hadn’t been paid for six months, Titya ordered technicians to remove the electric meter from the unit.
In response, two of the officers, Chhin Nom and Yoy Sido hit him on the head with an electricity meter.
“It was not serious, it is just that I feel pain in my head. I have not had it checked yet. I have to get a check-up to make sure there are no problems.
“The electricity meter he used to hit me weighed 1.5kg. They hit me with it four to five times, so my head could be in a serious state,” he said.
Titya said his electricity firm decided to give him 15 million riel to treat the injury.
Pailin Provincial Court spokesman Poly Oudom could not be reached for comment.
Yim Mengly, the coordinator for rights group Adhoc in Battambang and Pailin provinces claimed that in a criminal case, the court should still continue its legal procedures to punish the offender, even though the victim withdrew the complaint.
“The individual who committed the offence needs to be punished and fined. If he didn’t commit a crime, there would still have to be compensation paid to the victim. According to criminal law, the complaint ended only when the offender is punished,” he said.
Paying money to the victim, as MSP did, shouldn’t conclude the matter, because the offenders would go unpunished and not feel any regret, Mengly continued.
The kingdom has proper legal procedures which must be enforced equally regardless of the individuals involved, he said.