A military police commander in Banteay Meanchey province is under investigation by his superiors for allegedly slapping another man at a nightclub early Monday morning, officials said.
Hong Seiha, 25, who sells used shoes at Poipet City’s Doeum Putrea night market, said he was drinking with two friends at the Thach Down nightclub at about 2 a.m. on Monday when Srien Chandara, a deputy commander of the city’s military police force, attacked him unprovoked.
“He walked quickly to my table and touched my hip, and when I turned to look at him I was slapped hard across my left cheek,” Mr. Seiha said on Tuesday, explaining that it was not until later on Monday that he learned the slap was delivered by Mr. Chandara, who holds the rank of captain.
He said he had filed complaints with the Poipet City police and rights group Adhoc seeking $20,000 in compensation—given his attacker’s position and rank.
“I cannot accept what he did to me. He is an official—he used violence against me while I did nothing wrong,” he said.
Poipet City military police commander Chea Da said he questioned Mr. Chandara on Tuesday and that he denied slapping the shoe seller.
“I will call more witnesses to say whether he did it or not,” Mr. Da said. “If we find him guilty, we will punish him according to military rules,” he added, declining to elaborate further.
City police chief Thin Sidet confirmed that he received Mr. Seiha’s complaint and said he had issued a letter summoning Mr. Chandara to the police station for questioning this week.
“This is a very small case. I think maybe they can come to an agreement,” he said.
Soum Chankea, Adhoc’s provincial coordinator, said Mr. Chanda-ra was guilty of intentional violence—a crime punishable by up to three years in prison—and should be arrested.
“He is a military police officer—he is someone whom the people depend on,” he said. “He should be polite with the people, but instead he used violence against someone when he was drunk.”