Officials Charge RCAF Colonel With Murder

A RCAF colonel was behind bars in a military prison Wed­nes­day, charged with murder in the shooting death of a fellow soldier and the wounding of a by­stander.

Authorities have charged Vong Vorn, 45, with murder in the Oct 2 shooting death of Ry Vivorn, 27, and the wounding of a fruit vendor on Monivong Boulevard in Chamkarmon district. The gunman shot Ry Vivorn, a soldier in an RCAF tank unit, twice, and then fled, Municipal Military Police Information Chief Pol Davy said.

The incident began just after midnight, when Vong Vorn, who oversees the finances for the RCAF infantry, was eating in a restaurant, Pol Davy said.

Ry Vivorn, who did not know the colonel, was drunk and trying to drive home when his car swerved and almost plowed into the sidewalk where Vong Vorn was eating, Pol Davy said.

Vong Vorn allegedly took out his pistol and opened fire, but missed, Pol Davy said. He and a friend then got into his car and sped after the drunken man. After a brief chase, both cars stopped. Each man got out of his vehicle, Vong Vorn said.

Vong Vorn allegedly opened fire, Pol Davy said. Two bullets struck Ry Vivorn in the body, killing him. Another bullet ricocheted off the street and grazed an arm of an unidentified fruit vendor, Pol Davy said.

In his confession, Vong Vorn said it was his friend who shot the dead man, Pol Davy said.

Officials are holding Vong Vorn in a military prison instead of Prey Sar prison at the request of Vong Vorn’s attorney, Pol Davy said.

Authorities arrested the colonel Saturday on a warrant issued by Municipal Court Judge Sok Setha Mony, Pol Davy said.

Officials now have as many as six months to bring the case to trial.

The shooting prompted municipal police to issue a warning to the public regarding street crime, as thousands of rural villagers and tourists flock to the capital for King Norodom Sihanouk’s birthday and the annual water festival.


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