Man Pistol-Whipped by Military Police Officer

A military police officer was charged Thursday for violently pistol-whipping a 59-year-old man in a road-rage incident on National Road 4 in Kandal province’s Ang Snuol district, police and court officials said Thursday.

“The military police officer…was charged with intentional violence,” said Vong Bunvisoth, deputy prosecutor of the Kandal Provincial Court.

Major Proem Sorphorn, 40, chief of the military police’s provincial bureau of anti-drug research in Kompong Speu, violently attacked 59-year-old cyclist Nov Sovann on Wednesday after he cycled across the road in front of Maj. Sorphorn’s Lexus, causing him to have to brake abruptly.

“Mr. Sorphorn stopped his car and he got out and went to the man and beat him with his pistol and kicked him,” said district deputy police chief Pach Phalla.

“The victim was injured with bruises on his left jaw and neck because the suspect used his handgun to hit him,” Mr. Phalla added.

Mr. Sovann filed a complaint immediately and Maj. Sorphorn was arrested about an hour later. Investigating Judge Lim Sokuntha said Maj. Sorphorn is currently being held at the provincial police station.

“It is the mistake of Mr. Sorphorn to cause injury and use gun to threaten the victim, but this small incident did not leave anyone seriously hurt,” Mr. Phalla said.

Am Sam Ath, technical supervisor for local rights group Licadho, said this was one of many cases of members of the armed forces using their authority to abuse civilians.

“The court should consider an aggravating circumstance penalty because he is a law enforcement official who has committed violence,” Mr. Sam Ath said. “He is a military police officer and he’s just going around beating up people.”

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