Police Officers Charged for Bribery Shooting

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday charged two po­lice officers over the shooting of a 29-year-old man in the chest when he refused to pay them a bribe in Russei Keo district late Sunday night, court officials said.

Deputy prosecutor Keu Bun­nara said the court charged You Sokea, a member of the municipal police anti-drug bureau, with at­tempted murder, illegal use of a weapon, destruction of property and extortion. His colleague Kong Dara, a Chraing Chamreh II commune police officer, was charged with extortion, Mr. Bun­nara said.

“Kong Dara was only charged with extortion because he only de­manded 2,000 riel, or about $0.50, from the driver; he did not arrive at the scene where it [the shooting] happened,” the deputy prosecutor said.

Judge Leang Samnath said questioning of the two police officers began yesterday and would continue today.

The victim, Dy Vichet, was shot at close range and left slumped in the road after refusing to pay the officers a bribe at an un­official roadside checkpoint on Street 598 in Tuol Kok district. Accord­ing to Mr. Vichet’s wife, Vath Sreyleak, who was present at the time of the shooting, her husband drove away from the of­fic­ers when they demanded mon­ey and insulted him.

The two officers then gave chase on their motorcycles and one of them threw a rock at the wing mirror of Mr. Vichet’s van, which he was using to transport a cargo of chillies.

When Mr. Vichet stopped his vehicle to inspect the damage, he was shot in the chest. He is currently recovering at Calmette Hospital, where doctors removed a bullet that had just missed his heart.

Phnom Penh deputy police chief Colonel Chuon Narin said that Mr. So­kea—the officer ac­cused of at­tempted murder—made a bid to escape by jumping out of a police truck transporting him back to the police station after preliminary questioning at the court yesterday morning.

“You Sokea ran away for 20 minutes and hid in a lake in Rus­sei Keo’s Tuol Sangke commune, but our police surrounded him and arrested him again,” Col. Na­rin said.

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