Colonel Involved in Shooting Released on Bail

A military police colonel who was arrested after a scuffle outside his villa with opposition CNRP supporters in July during which shots were fired into the air has been released on bail, a court official confirmed Wednesday.

“He was released on bail on September 5 for using an illegal weapon as this is a misdemeanor case,” Appeal Court prosecutor Hean Rith said.

Colonel Khy Kimlon had been holding a party at his home in Chamkar Mon district when CNRP election campaigners passing by his luxury home began shouting party slogans. The guests inside the villa’s compound responded by shouting support for the ruling CPP, at which point CNRP supporters allegedly threw stones over the wall of the villa. Subsequently, two youths emerged from the villa and fired shots into the air.

Col. Kimlon was arrested and charged with using an illegal weapon and spent more than a month in prison, but was released September 5, Mr. Rith said Wednesday.

Hou Puthvisal, director of PJ Prison confirmed that Col. Kim­lon had left the prison, but said he could not recall the date.

Yim Sovann, CNRP spokesman, said he regretted the colonel’s bail, which he believes is tantamount to actual release.

“We are not surprised because Cambodian courts are not just,” Mr. Sovann said, noting that Chhouk Bundith, the former Bavet City governor who shot and injured three garment workers during a protest last year, is still at large, while Yorm Bopha, the jailed anti-eviction activist, has served more than a year in prison and has been refused bail after being convicted for encouraging the assault of two men.

Human rights groups have called the charges against Ms. Bopha politically contrived and the court’s refusal to grant her bail as punishment for defying Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling CPP.

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