Police have arrested a nephew of Prime Minister Hun Sen and were holding him Tuesday in connection with a shooting incident which left a man wounded.
Authorities arrested Hun Chea, the nephew, and Khem Leang for an exchange of gunfire between two groups of men at a Phnom Penh beer garden which left Khem Leang wounded.
Trouble began Dec 16 around 10:40 pm, when Hun Chea and his cousin Hun To—another of Hun Sen’s nephews—were drinking with the owner of the Parkway beer garden, several bodyguards and a young woman. A dispute over the young woman broke out between their table and a table that included Khem Leang and a Cambodian-Australian man, Deputy National Police Chief Sau Thon said.
The woman at Hun Chea’s table reportedly was the sister-in-law of the Cambodian-Australian man, who accused Hun To of forcing the woman to sit at Hun To’s table.
The dispute escalated, and men in each party drew guns, Sau Thon said. Shots erupted. A bullet struck Khem Leang in the right leg. No one else was injured in the shooting, Sau Thon said.
Hun To said shortly after the incident that the woman sat at his table voluntarily, and that his bodyguards only returned fire, not instigated it.
The next day, authorities deported the Cambodian-Australian man, but both Khem Leang and Hun Chea remained at large until Monday, Sau Thon said.
Hun To did not participate in the shooting, and in fact complained to authorities, which is why he avoided arrest, Sau Thon said.
Authorities were holding Khem Leang and Hun Chea at the Ministry of the Interior while they investigated the case and sought charges against each man, Sau Thon said.
The arrest marks the second time in three months one of the prime minister’s nephews has wound up behind bars. In late October, Hun Sen ordered his sister’s son Nhim Pov put in Prey Sar prison after the teen allegedly got drunk and shot a handgun outside a karaoke parlor.