Unknown attackers on Monday night threw a grenade at the home of Kratie province’s chief prosecutor, who had been investigating members of an RCAF battalion over death of a soldier and the reported torture of a farmer, officials said.
After a three-day investigation, Kratie provincial police on Wednesday concluded the attack was spurred by Chief Prosecutor Penh Vibol’s work, after ruling out a possible dispute with neighbors, the province’s deputy police chief Chuop Chinda said.
Chuop Chinda said the attackers were riding a motorcycle with the lights off when they attacked Penh Vibol’s home in Roka commune, Kratie district.
Penh Vibol said he heard something hit his window around 8 pm. Thinking someone had thrown a rock, he went outside to investigate.
“I walked out three steps to see it,” he said Wednesday. “When I was about five meters away, the grenade exploded.”
Shrapnel splattered the fence, the gate and the house wall, he said.
“I felt the shock when the grenade exploded, but my body was not hit by any shrapnel,” he said, None of his four children were injured, he added.
Penh Vibol agreed that the attack may have been connected to his work, but said it is difficult to know who was responsible because he is involved in many cases. Some of his recent cases include the investigation into
Border Battalion 204 soldiers accused of torturing a farmer last month, as well as their suspected torture in late August of a soldier now deceased. There have been land disputes, civil cases and drug cases, he said.
Penh Vibol said he has received threats by phone in the past, but this was the first time his home was attacked. He said he is worried about the country’s prosecutors being targeted in the future.
“We work for justice, but now we are becoming the target for the attackers,” he said.