Family Demands Investigation in Shooting of Suspected Thief

The family of a 22-year-old man who was shot dead by police in Kompong Cham province is de­manding that the provincial court expedite its investigation into the killing, the victim’s sister and local rights group Adhoc said yesterday.

Trapaing Phlong commune police shot Horm Vannda, a suspect in a necklace snatching, to death in Ponhea Krek district on April 16.

Though police said the man was accidentally shot once in the neck in a struggle with armed officers, the dead man’s family said yesterday that police used excessive force against Mr Vannda, shooting him three times and not once, and want a full investigation of the killing.

“Let me ask you, is there a law that when you see a thief, you just shoot him to death? Is there a law?” the victim’s sister Horm Kimyory said yesterday.

Ms Kimyory also accused the court of stall an investigation.

“I sued after my brother was shot and the police officer is just wandering around the village and drinking. No one takes any action towards him or touches him. No police have come to ask my parents and me about the case,” she said.

Provincial court prosecutor Huot Vuthy said that the court was investigating the case, but he declined to elaborate.

“I’m investigating,” he said yesterday.

Adhoc provincial investigator Phuong Sothea said he has seen no evidence of a court investigation. Adhoc plans to file an intervention letter with the court on behalf of the victim’s family to demand the prosecutor speed up investigation, he said.

“This case is suspicious. The prosecutor should investigate and find out the truth to get the perpetrator and he should be punished,” he said.

Deputy commune police chief Phlong Sok Ry, the officer ac­cused of shooting the man, declined to comment and referred questions to Ponhea Krek district police chief Prak Bunnon. Mr Bunnon said Mr Sok Ry did nothing wrong. Mr Vannda was a suspect in the theft of the necklace and was accidentally shot resisting arrest, he said.

“When we saw him, police called to him to stop but he did not. When he got behind the commune office he confronted the police, then the policeman’s gun was accidentally triggered and shot him in the throat,” he said.

 

 

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