Three Takeo province policemen held for the suspected beating death last month of an amputee cannot be prosecuted due to a lack of evidence in a police report that consisted entirely of their own accounts of the event, officials said.
“[The police report] was very thin. It is not enough to consider,” Takeo chief provincial prosecutor Kann Cheoun said Thursday. He added that in order to prosecute the officers, he would need more information from police reports.
Police said they will prepare another report, but provincial director of local rights group Adhoc, Men Makara, said that the prosecutor should open an investigation irrespective of the police reports.
“The court cannot rely on police reports to make its decision, because the police reports are biased,” he said on Thursday.
Keo Yann, 40, who lost his left leg to a land mine, was beaten and died on Oct 17 following a dispute with police officers over the arrest of his brother-in-law, witnesses reported.
According to the officers, however, Keo Yann was being arrested for a domestic violence complaint. But in an attempt to escape, he accidentally hit himself in the head with handcuffs attached to his wrists, Takeo Police Chief Vuth Phally said at the time.
Although the victim’s wife made a report against the policemen to Adhoc, she would not file a complaint because police had given her compensation for her husband’s death, Men Makara said.
Takeo deputy police chief Suon Phon said on Thursday that the three officers were being detained at police headquarters.
“We are gathering the evidence and witnesses to complete [another] report and will send it to the court soon,” Suon Phon said.
“We suspended them to wait for the prosecutor to consider the case, [and] as punishment because they were careless with their work,” he added.