Two Banteay Meanchey Military Police officials on Sunday were charged and sent to jail for the torture and murder of Tuy Sros last month.
Sar Bunsoeung, Banteay Meanchey deputy Military Police chief, and Chay Rathna, an assistant to the Anti-Drug Bureau of the provincial Military Police, were charged by the Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court with intentional violence with aggravating circumstances and were sent to prison on Sunday.
The case dates back to December 28, when five men (including Tuy Sros, 34) were arrested by Banteay Meanchey Military Police for occupying private and state land, a press release from the Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court said.
The other four men arrested by the provincial Military Police were Nouv Noeun, 62, Hoem Kiry, 45, Yip Mork, 61, and An Ruon, 59. While detained, Sros was tortured and suffered severe injuries that led to his death, the press release said.
After learning of Sros’ case on January 1, the prosecutor’s office of the Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court began a thorough investigation into the circumstances that led to his death.
On January 13, an ad hoc committee of the National Military Police launched an investigation and found that Bunsoeung and Rathna “used violence against the suspect”.
On Saturday, it prepared the case and sent the two Military Police officials to the Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court.
The next day, the court charged Bunsoeung and Rathna with intentional violence with aggravating circumstances under articles 218 and 224 of the Criminal Code.
The Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court said: “On January 19, the same day the accused testified, the investigating judge decided to put the perpetrators in custody and sent them to the Banteay Meanchey provincial prison.”
The National Military Police on Sunday issued a press release confirming the use of violence against Sros and his companions by the two Military Police officials.
Noeun, one of the victims, applauded the arrest of the officials but asked for further investigation.
“The sentence gives us some justice and shows the government is committed to putting those who use violence against the public behind bars. However, further investigation is needed to find out who gave the orders,” he said.
Rights group Adhoc coordinator in Banteay Meanchey province Sum Chankea agreed.
“All involved – those who gave the orders, those who committed the crime and those who helped them – must be brought to justice to bring peace to the victims and to ensure they don’t do it again,” he said.