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Policeman facing charge for shooting bystander during cockfighting bust

People cover the body of Seak Ron, 33, after he was shot through the throat in Phnom Penh on Sunday, allegedly by a stray police bullet.
People cover the body of Seak Ron, 33, after he was shot through the throat in Phnom Penh on Sunday, allegedly by a stray police bullet. Hong Menea

Policeman facing charge for shooting bystander during cockfighting bust

Phnom Penh Municipal Police have sent a district-level police lieutenant to the court, where he is expected to be charged in relation to the fatal shooting of an innocent bystander during a botched cockfighting raid on Sunday.

Phnom Penh Municipal Police Chief Chuon Sovan yesterday said Chorn Vireak, a first lieutenant with the Por Sen Chey district police, is currently the sole suspect in the death of Seak Ron, 33.

Vireak is one of two police officials detained for questioning on Monday, but the second was released after it appeared the bullet that killed the victim had not been fired from his weapon.

“We arrested them both and studied forensic evidence we had taken from the scene, including the casings and the bullet in the victim,” Sovan said.

“After thorough scrutiny, we discovered that a weapon had harmed the victim, and the owner of that weapon has been sent to court today.”

Por Sen Chey District Police Chief Yim Saran yesterday said the incident was “careless” but hinted the fatal bullet could have been misfired from a dropped gun.

“We usually never allow [our officers to] open fire during a criminal crackdown. At that time, it was so chaotic and there were so many people [and] our forces dropped their weapons all over the place,” he said.

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