Police Inaction Over Killing Enrages Residents

Angered that an arrest warrant has not been issued for a military policeman who allegedly shot and killed a motorbike passenger in the street, hundreds of residents are planning demonstrations against the Municipal Court, re­latives of the slain man said  Tues­­day.

“If within a few days the court still has not issued the warrant, villagers will travel to the court,” Sim Chanthy, brother-in-law of the victim Dith Piseth, said.

He also alleged that a court clerk asked him and the victim’s mother to pay $300 to have the warrant issued.

“He told me that if I do not offer him the money, the court will be slow to issue the warrant,” Sim Chanthy said. “I did not offer him money, because I think he would just take it and then ask for more.”

Sim Chanthy said Tuesday that the demonstration would be held next week.

The suspect, military police officer Khan Neang, 28, has been missing since the Nov 23 shooting. Witnesses say he shot and killed 21-year-old Dith Piseth and wounded Chap Chamroeun, 22, as they rode away on a motorbike. The incident took place af­ter a confrontation that began when a truck passed through a po­­lice checkpoint without stopping in Phnom Penh’s Dangkao district.

Dangkao district police Chief Mom Sawath said Tuesday that the police report requesting that an ar­rest warrant be issued was de­layed by the Water Festival  and sent to the court Tuesday eve­ning,

Chan Soveth, spokesman for hu­man rights group Adhoc, said Tuesday his investigation suggested the suspect is in hiding with the protection of his superiors.

“I think that if the authorities had the real intention to arrest the suspect, they could, because he is still in Phnom Penh,” Chan So­veth said.

He blamed the delay on police inaction.

Municipal Court Deputy Pro­se­cutor Nget Sarath, who originally charged the suspect, said he was unsure whether the case had been passed to the investigating judge.

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