Former Officer Charged for Role in Hostage Crisis

A former military police officer based in Banteay Meanchey pro­vince was charged Tuesday with providing the gun that hostage-takers used during the high-profile siege at Siem Reap International School in June, court officials said.

Loek Soeun, whose age was not disclosed, was charged with being involved in the illegal selling of the weapon, which police say was used to kill the Canadian toddler shot dead during the six-hour hostage standoff.

Siem Reap court Investigating Judge Ang Mealtey said he could not give further details about Loek Soeun’s alleged involvement in the June hostage crisis, which top­ped international news, because he had not questioned the suspect yet.

Ou Em, Siem Reap’s police chief for the province’s serious crimes department, said that he was not aware of Loek Soeun’s arrest, which he said was conducted by mil­itary police, but maintained that the suspect was a former military po­lice officer.

In June, a man named Un Ny was charged for selling the gun to al­­leged ringleader Chea Sok­hom—who is accused of killing the Can­a­dian boy—for $150 in their home village of Prek Takeo in Kan­dal province’s Kien Svay district.

“[Loek Soeun] was just in­volv­ed,” said Morm Samon, Siem Reap’s military police commander-in-chief.

Ou Em said that there is still one more suspect involved in the hos­tage crisis who is believed to be living outside Siem Reap town.

He declined to give further information about the suspect, fearing that it might hamper the arrest ef­fort.

Four accused hostage-takers have been charged with kidnapping, premeditated murder and il­legal use of a weapon during the school siege.

Another three suspects have been charged with conspiring on each of the three charges.

Police said that alleged ringleader Chea Sokhom confessed that the siege began when he convinced three friends to don masks and try to kidnap the child of his South Korean employer who was a student at the school.

Chea Sokhom was motivated by revenge because he was once slap­ped by his for­­mer foreign employer, po­lice alleged.



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