Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kandal cops called to court

Kandal cops called to court

Thon Vy, a relative of Chamroeun Seyha, sits at her house in Kandal province last year after Chamroeun died from injuries allegedly sustained during a beating at the hands of police officers.
Thon Vy, a relative of Chamroeun Seyha, sits at her house in Kandal province last year after Chamroeun died from injuries allegedly sustained during a beating at the hands of police officers. Mech Dara

Kandal cops called to court

Three on-the-run police officers accused of beating a man to death have been called before the Kandal Provincial Court, following the questioning of their fellow policemen and villagers who witnessed the beating last week.

Sa’ang district Deputy Police Chief Pheadey Vitou, 33; head of Police Immigration Bureau Chhay Sina, 33; and District Deputy Chief of Forensic Police Kheang Songtheng, 31, have been summonsed to answer questions before the court, some six months after the death of Chamroeun Seyha, 26.

The three repeatedly claimed Seyha was killed by a mob of villagers who suspected him of theft – which was roundly contradicted by other witnesses.

Vitou, Sina and Songtheng were fired from their posts in March for failing to appear at work. Their superior, Sa’ang District Police Chief Seng Socheat, confirmed he appeared at court on April 26 to answer investigating judge Hok Vanthina’s questions about the “aggravated violence” the officers allegedly committed.

“The case is not involved with us and we are just witnesses. The one who committed it was Pheadey Vitou, Chhay Sina and Kheang Songtheng, who must face the investigating judge and prosecutor because they are the ones who are responsible for it in face of the law,” Socheat said. “We have not known yet whether they came to appear at the court or not . . . It is up to the investigating judge and prosecutor to decide [if they are guilty].”

Khim Sok Hai, Prek Koy deputy commune police chief, was present on the day Seyha was killed, but maintains the officers’ innocence. “I have seen some villagers having beaten him and they beat me too, but some people and some radio [stations] did not report [this], because they are biased against the authorities,” he said.

Around five police were called to answer questions, as well as around 10 villagers. Investigating Judge Hok Vanthina declined to comment yesterday.

Mak Bunna, believed to be a lawyer for the absent trio, claimed yesterday he was merely an assistant in their case and also declined to comment.

The victim’s wife, Khuon Sreymom, said she had seen the police officers’ lawyers in the courtroom. After the killing, she received $20,000 in compensation for her loss and was questioned in court about her use of those funds.

“This compensation money would not be worth my husband’s life . . . He worked and got paid more than this to support our family, but we have no choice. We need to take the money to support my children,” she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports