PM: Alleged NRP Gun Threat a Criminal Offense

Prime Minister Hun Sen said June 26 that the alleged gun-pulling incident at the Norodom Ranariddh Party’s cabinet the week of June 18 was a criminal offense, ad­ding that the culprit should be arrested.

NRP spokesman Muth Chann­tha filed a complaint with the In­terior Ministry Sunday accusing Nou Kim Y, the NRP’s chief act­i­vist for Battambang province, of pulling a weapon on In So­khom, the chief party activist for Svay Rieng pro­vince, during an argument about mo­ney on June 19. Nou Kim Y has denied the allegation.

“This is…a criminal offense,” Hun Sen said at the National Institute of Education, adding that the suspect “should be handcuffed.”

“How much freedom you all have—don’t point guns at each other in a party office,” Hun Sen said.

Hun Sen chastised the alleged gunman for pulling a weapon during an argument, adding that everyone has the right to say what they want.

“Don’t take revenge against each other and [then] use the gov­ernment and leaders as scape­goats,” he added.

Nou Kim Y could not be contacted June 27. On June 24 he de­nied pulling a weapon on a collea­gue after he unsuccessfully tried to collect a debt from NRP Deputy Se­cretary-General Sao Rany.

Muong Khim, deputy judicial police chief at the Interior Min­istry, said June 27 that the case was out of his hands be­cause he had already passed it along to the municipal crime unit.

But if the allegations in the complaint are true, the offender must face the law, he said.

“If a big brother points a gun at his younger brother…or a father points a gun at his son, they will be put in jail,” he said.

Municipal Police Chief Touch Naruth said that he had heard that a complaint had been filed but was unaware of the status of the investigation.

Muth Channtha said it was inappropriate for Hun Sen to say political activists should not criticize the government just because their own party might have some internal discord.

“In a democratic society we are free to criticize the government …so long as there is a justified reason,” he said. (Additional reporting by John Maloy and Kay Kimsong)


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