Police Vow to Track Down Hit-and-Run Officer—After Holiday

Police in Kandal province vowed Monday to track down a high-profile owner of a Lexus SUV that sped away after smashing into a motorcycle Saturday, killing a man and causing two others to have legs amputated.

But police said they would wait until after the Khmer New Year holiday to take action.

Ek Sovannara—the son of Ek Krit, a former Kandal provincial police chief who is now an adviser to the Interior Ministry—illegally fled the scene of the accident, which occurred in Khsach Kandal district shortly after midnight Friday.

Men Sokhoeun, the district police chief, said yesterday that Mr. Sovannara, who is the deputy police chief of the Prey Vor International Checkpoint in Svay Rieng prov­ince, would face the law, despite his status.

“We can not allow the offender to escape the net of the law be­cause this is murder, even though it is an unintentional killing,” Mr. Sokhoeun said.

The three men on the motorcycle that collided with Mr. Sovannara’s Lexus were Dork Meng, 28, Van Chan, 32, and Yorn Te Ngor, 30.

Doctors at Phnom Penh’s Calmette Hospital on Saturday am­putated the left legs of all three men. On Sunday, Dork Meng died from his injuries.

Despite stating that Mr. Sovannara would face the law, Mr. Sokhoeun, the police chief, also said the matter could be settled out of court if Mr. Sovannara proved cooperative.

“We will write a letter to invite the offender to solve the problem after the Khmer New Year,” said Mr. Sokhoeun. “But in the case that he doesn’t accept our invitation, we will send this case to court.”

Victims of traffic accidents often take cash payments from offenders in lieu of a day in court.

At the site of the accident, which happened on National Road 8 in Sanlong commune, police allowed Mr. Sovannara and others who were in the car to fix a blown tire. According to police, Mr. Sovannara then defied police orders and sped away from the scene, leaving only his business card.

Kandal authorities have yet to prosecute another high-profile hit-and-run case in November, when a Lexus carrying senior CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap collided with a motorcycle, killing one and seriously injuring another, and then drove away.

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