PM Says Police Chief Fired for Missing Meeting

Kandal Provincial Police Chief Ek Kret was removed from his po­sition for allegedly missing Prime Minis­ter Hun Sen’s visit to the prov­ince last week, the prime minister an­nounced Tuesday.

“The prime minister had a meeting in Kandal province, and the po­lice chief didn’t know about it,” Hun Sen said in a speech at the National Institute of Education.

“Should we keep [him]? This kind of people, we have to replace them all,” he said, adding that ex­cessive alcohol consumption would not be tolerated either.

“In one week, he drinks three times. How many provincial police chiefs and military police chiefs drink three or two times per week?” Hun Sen asked.

“When he was busy drinking, how could he protect the security?”

Hun Sen said the co-Ministers of In­terior Sar Kheng and Prince Nor­o­dom Sirivudh signed an order Mon­­day removing Ek Kret and pro­­moting his deputy, Iev Cham­roeun.

Ek Kret said he would comply with the order but denied having an alcohol problem and said he was in Thailand for medical care during the prime minister’s visit to his prov­ince.

“I am afraid of alcohol, because I have heart disease,” Ek Kret said, adding that he only drinks when ob­liged to do so in social situations with his superiors.

Ek Kret said that he believed his image had been distorted and ex­ag­gerated by someone close to Hun Sen, possibly with the intention to usurp him from his positions.

In 2002, Ek Kret’s son, Ek So­van­nara, was charged with killing one of Hun Sen’s bodyguards in a drunk­en dispute. According to Ek Kret at the time, he paid the victim’s family $3,000 and his son was re­leased.

National Police Commissioner Hok Lundy will preside over the removal and promotion at a ceremony scheduled for Wednesday, Iev Chamroeun said.


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