A controversial municipal police commander has been suspended by the Ministry of Interior in the wake of a nasty public feud, Phnom Penh’s police chief confirmed Sunday.
Mok Chito, chief of Phnom Penh police for foreigners, was suspended by an order issued last Friday by Interior, said Phnom Penh Police Chief Neth Savoeun.
“I do not object to the suspension,” Neth Savoeun said, but he added that the case demands a proper court proceeding with all documents and evidence aired.
Mok Chito said Sunday that the suspension was news to him. “It may not be true, because the ministry should call me before any suspension,” he said.
Details of the suspension were not disclosed, but Mok Chito has been involved in an increasingly tense, high-profile feud with Heng Peo, deputy director of the Interior Ministry’s anti-drug unit.
Recently, Mok Chito filed complaints with Interior and the municipal court alleging that Heng Peo was involved in the June 8 shooting of the publisher of Koh Santapheap (Island of Peace) newspaper.
Heng Peo has denied the allegations and, in turn, has accused Mok Chito of ordering several killings in Phnom Penh.
Some have feared that the feud would lead to an armed confrontation between police units.
Heng Peo said Sunday that he was aware of the decision to suspend Mok Chito and said that he himself is not being suspended.
Interior officials could not be reached for comment Sunday. Several National Police officials contacted Sunday said that they did not know anything about the case.