Officer in Limbo After Shooting at Home of Suspected Sorcerer

A police officer in Kompong Thom province fired his pistol at the home of a man he suspected of being a sorcerer and causing his wife’s death, according to officials, though it remained unclear Tuesday whether he would be charged.

Baray district deputy police chief Svay Saveth shot at the home of a man whom police identified only as Ny at around 6 p.m. on Sunday because he believed the man used “black magic” to kill his wife, according to deputy district military police commander Khun Bunhuo.

“The case is in the hands of the provincial police,” he said.

Chea Poeun, chief of the provincial serious crime bureau, said police confiscated Mr. Saveth’s gun later Sunday night, but did not plan to pursue further action.

“The case is over now,” Mr. Poeun said. “We have not arrested him because he already said sorry and no one filed a complaint against him.”

“He shot at the victim’s house because of a broken heart,” he said, adding that the officer shot twice at the victim’s house in Balaing commune.

Although provincial police said the case was closed, deputy provincial prosecutor Say Nora said he was still waiting on a report from district police to decide whether to charge Mr. Saveth over the incident.

Mr. Nora said that police must determine if the officer intended to shoot at the man inside the house or just at the house. Either way, he said charges should be laid if police conclude that Mr. Saveth discharged his weapon without cause.

“When I told [district police chief Suong Then] to check that case, he replied to me that he is still interviewing witnesses and searching for the bullet shells,” Mr. Nora said.

“He said he can’t find any shells and I replied to him that that is not reasonable,” he said, adding that Mr. Saveth denied firing his weapon when interviewed by district police.

“If it is concluded that he really did the shooting, he must face the law,” he said. “Although he is a police officer, he cannot use a weapon to shoot to threaten people.”

Mr. Then, the district police chief, could not be reached.

sokhean@cambodiadaily.com

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