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Two charged in Kratie shooting; one hunted

Two charged in Kratie shooting; one hunted

Two TTY security guards arrested on Saturday in connection with the shooting of four protestors in Kratie province last month were charged by the provincial court yesterday with illegal use of a firearm and intentional acts of violence, officials said.

Provincial investigating judge Ket Socheat said yesterday that the two suspects, Koe Sovanna and Yon Chhaina, were sent to the provincial prison after they were questioned by the court and officially charged.

He added that authorities have not concluded their investigation, but are searching for one additional suspect, who was believed to be involved in Kratie’s Snuol district shooting last month that left four injured.

The third suspect has been identified by police as Phin Oeun, Ket Socheat said.

“The case is still under investigation, so I can not speak on it any further,” the provincial judge said.

The two security guards were arrested on Saturday after they were lured by their superiors to the TTY company office, where they were handed over to police, company representatives said on Sunday.

The company handed over the two men after Prime Minister Hun Sen last week vowed to sack TTY director Okhna Na Marady as one of his advisors, as well as withdraw the company’s economic land concession license, if the company did not give up the suspects.

On January 18, four protestors from Veal Bei village were injured after being shot by TTY company security guards after they attempted to keep the company from clearing their cassava fields.

Head of the land program for the rights group Adhoc, Ouch Leng, said he appreciated the authorities taking swift action to arrest the shooters after the premier’s announcement.

However, he said: “We are skeptical that the two people arrested are not the actual suspects who shot the villagers. The authorities also need to find and arrest whoever ordered the shooting.”

Kratie provincial police chief Chhoung Seang Hak declined to comment on the investigation yesterday.

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