The Sam Rainsy Party urged authorities on Wednesday to investigate what party member RCAF Brigadier General Khieng Savorn claimed was a shooting attempt on his life, but that police maintain was little more than a stone throwing incident.
Opposition lawmakers issued a statement deploring the apparent shooting that police said was a piece of brick thrown at the back windshield of Khieng Savorn’s car as he stopped at a Phnom Penh intersection Tuesday evening.
“A conviction of the assassins is crucial for the sake of eradicating impunity that has had a stranglehold over the country,” said the statement, dated Wednesday.
Opposition spokesman Ung Bun-Ang suggested the attack was politically motivated, since Khieng Savorn, a prominent opposition member, had no personal disputes.
Though witnesses and Khieng Savorn himself said they did not hear any gunshots, Ung Bun-Ang said the party backed the general’s claim that two men on a motorbike shot at his car.
“He is a general, so he should be able to tell the difference if it was a [gunshot] or a rock,” Ung Bun-Ang said.
Police, however, stood by their version of the event Wednesday.
“This was not a shooting,” said Tiep Kum, the deputy police chief of Chamkar Mon district, saying police had seized the offending piece of brick.
He said police could not carry out the opposition’s demand for a full investigation because Khieng Savorn refused to cooperate.
“They wanted to bring my car into police custody, but I was worried some parts of the car would be stolen and if I wanted to take it back, they would ask me to pay money,” Khieng Savorn said.
He added: “I still say that it was a shooting.”
(Additional reporting by Wency Leung)