The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday charged Than Chamroeun, 23, with traffic violations and intentionally killing three people in a high-speed car crash and the subsequent shooting of passers-by with an AK-47, a court official said.
According to Deputy Prosecutor Sok Roeun, the court issued arrest warrants for four other suspects. He named them as Seng Savanara; Nim Sophea, 22; Pov Hun; and a man named Pov who goes by “Moung.”
The prosecutor declined to give the age of some of the suspects and to further identify the men, but he named Nim Sophea as the shooter.
Police and witnesses have said that the suspects belong to powerful, and historically untouchable, families.
The case has been marked by evasiveness on behalf of government and law enforcement officials.
Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak refused Wednesday to discuss the family connections of the suspects, saying, “The family does not allow [the son] to do.”
Opposition newspaper The Voice of Khmer Youth reported Wednesday that one of the men involved in the incident was Prime Minister Hun Sen’s nephew Nhim Pov, who also goes by the name Hun Pov—the inverse of a name mentioned by Sok Roeun.
The newspaper did not attribute that information.
Leaving the courthouse on Wednesday, Than Chamroeun warned one reporter not to take his photograph, saying it could lead to another shooting, the reporter said.
Police said Tuesday that Than Chamroeun is the son of a Phnom Penh gold dealer.
A Kossamak Hospital doctor said Wednesday that one man who was injured in the crash, 20-year-old coconut vendor Long Lay, remains unconscious.
His brother, 19-year-old Long Mao, was killed when one offender’s Toyota Corona plowed into a coconut truck parked on Sihanouk Boulevard near Olympic Stadium between 10:30 and 11 pm Monday.
A man and woman, Ou Sitha and Phal Vanny, were killed by bullets from the AK-47 as they were driving by the accident.
Penal Police Chief Reach Sokhon said Tuesday that the accident occurred as the men were speeding west down Sihanouk Boulevard in a four-car convoy on their way from a birthday celebration at the Chamkar Mon district villa of a high-ranking official.