Complaint Dropped Against Official’s Son

The family of a youth who was seriously injured in a Phnom Penh shooting last week has dropped a complaint against a provincial governor’s son accused of the attack, police said Sunday.

The family decided not to pursue the case after a series of secret negotiations with the family of the suspect, Preap Sam Sika, 19, a son of Preah Vihear Governor Preap Tann, police said. The victim’s father is a high-ranking Interior Ministry official.

But police said they were unsure how to deal with the case, which they fear will revive allegations that children of high-ranking officials are being given special treatment by the justice system.

“Police officers are getting a headache right now because the suspect has committed a crime,” Tuol Kok District Police Chief Kim Hourn said Sunday.

He said he could not take re­sponsibility for the case himself, but would file an arrest warrant with the court and leave it to his superiors to decide what to do.

“I am asking for a measure from the top on how to deal with this problem,” he said. “I do this…to show that it is not my fault.”

Deputy Penal Police Chief Heng Borei said police who arrest relatives of officials risk losing their jobs. “By the law, whoever does wrong must be arrested and punished,” Heng Borei said. “But with this case, I do not know.”

Wednesday’s shooting, which stemmed from a dispute between rival gangs at the Indra Devi High School in Tuol Kok district, left 20-year-old Kao Samnang with injuries to the hip and leg, authorities said at the time.

The attack is the latest in a string of violent crimes alleged to have been committed by sons of government officials.



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