Four Charged in Mob Killing of Mentally Ill Man

The Kompong Speu Provincial Court has charged four men over the brutal mob killing on Wednesday of a mentally ill man who was suspected of being a thief. Tuon Puttrea, 28, was set upon by a group of about 50 people for allegedly trying to steal a cow and a motorbike.

The group tied the man to a tree and burned him alive.

Four men—Eam Sahon, 30; Kan San, 28; Oeun Sat, 26; and Pheun Pheas, 28—were arrested the day after the killing. Provincial penal police chief Sam Sak said they were all charged Sunday with murder with aggravated circumstances.

Kak Savun, head of the provincial prison, said the four were now in his custody in provisional detention. Samraong Tong district police chief Khut Sophal said more arrests could come.

“We are still searching for people to arrest, but the suspects in this case have fled from the village,” he said.

Though the mob killing of suspected thieves and sorcerers is fairly common in the country, related arrests are rare.

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