Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Victims wait on Bandith ruling

Victims wait on Bandith ruling

Buot Chinda (left), Keo Near (centre) and Nuth Sakhorn, victims of last year’s shooting, exit Phnom Penh’s Appeal Court.
Buot Chinda (left), Keo Near (centre) and Nuth Sakhorn, victims of last year’s shooting, exit Phnom Penh’s Appeal Court. VIREAK MAI

Victims wait on Bandith ruling

Yet another ruling in the tumultuous trial of former Bavet town governor Chhouk Bandith has been set, with the Appeal Court yesterday announcing a verdict date for next week.

After Bandith was convicted in absentia on the charge of unintentionally causing injury in June for non-fatally shooting three protesters at a demonstration of an estimated 6,000 people in February 2012, he filed an appeal from hiding.

Bandith was once again absent from court yesterday but his lawyer, Kay Visal, maintained his client’s innocence.

“My client is not guilty, and there is no one who saw my client shoot those three victims,” he said, requesting that the charges be dropped.

Bandith, he said, had gone to the protest at the Kaoway sports factory in Svay Rieng province’s Manhattan Economic Zone after receiving an order from Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An.

Victim Buot Chinda, who was shot through the chest, told the Post in March 2012 that officials acting on behalf of Sam An had offered her money to drop her complaint against Bandith.

Bandith’s 18-month conviction came after he was identified by eyewitnesses and named the sole suspect by no less than Minister of Interior Sar Kheng himself, but not before a series of bizarre legal twists.

After he was charged but never arrested, the Svay Rieng provincial court dropped their case against Bandith in December last year – a decision that sparked public outrage and fresh demands that he be tried for attempted murder.

In March the appeal court ordered he be retried after reinvestigating the case.

The three victims’ lawyer, Sari Butcharya, reiterated calls for the charges against Bandith to be raised to attempted murder.

Her clients, she added, request $50,000 each in compensation.

“My clients have pain in their bodies, their minds, but they still have not yet received justice,” she said.

Keo Near, one of the victims shot at the demonstration last year, hoped yesterday that the appeal court would uphold the conviction and Bandith will finally see the inside of a jail cell.

“We are still living in pain, because justice has still not been served,” Near said.

The appeals court will announce its decision on Monday.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM imposes nationwide Covid restrictions, curfew over Delta scare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28 instructed the municipal and provincial authorities nationwide to strictly enforce Covid-19 measures including curfew for two weeks from July 29 midnight through August 12 to stem the new coronavirus Delta variant. The instruction came shortly after he issued a directive

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Provinces on Thai borders put in lockdown amid Delta fears

    The government has decided to place several border provinces in lockdown for two weeks in a bid to prevent the new coronavirus Delta variant spreading further into community. According a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28, the provinces include Koh Kong,

  • Delta spreading in Kingdom

    Cambodia has so far detected more than 200 cases of the highly contagious coronavirus Delta variant, with 109 found on July 31 and August 1. The Ministry of Health has expressed deep concerns that the variant may have already reached communities and be spreading as some of the cases

  • US' Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines arrive

    The first batch of 455,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine donated by the US touched down in Phnom Penh on the morning of July 30. They are part of the total 1,060,100 doses the US has pledged to provide to Cambodia through the World Health Organisation-led (

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four