RCAF Colonel Confesses to Shooting Friend

Former RCAF colonel Sath Soeun admitted to shooting his companion af­ter attending a wedding Sunday night in Kompong Cham town, a mil­itary police official said Tues­day.

Questioned Monday by a military police interrogator, Sath Soeun confessed he shot Hach Sovannary twice in the back be­cause the latter verbally insulted him, said Deputy Military Police Commander Lak Leang.

Hach Sovannary, a Fun­cinpec RCAF lieutenant col­onel for Mil­itary Region 2, had re­por­tedly an­gered Sath Soeun by ask­ing “why he behaved badly as a gang­ster in the past,” Lak Leang said.

Sath Soeun was infamous in Kompong Cham province for his links to a number of violent crimes throughout the 1990s. He was re­lieved of his military duty in 1998.

The latest incident occurred when the two men, who were trav­el­ing together on Sath Soeun’s motorbike, stopped on a roadside on the way home from a wedding.

Sath Soeun was arrested by military police Monday morning, but his arrest elicited complaints from some officials who claimed the military police had overstepped their bounds, encroaching the jurisdiction of the National Police.

Lak Leang acknowledged the arrest had been unlawful, but he said military police were forced to take action to make sure Sath Soeun did not escape.

“[Sath Soeun] is for sure a scary gangster,” he said.

Judicial police Chief Seng Sok­him agreed the military police were allowed to make the arrest to prevent the suspect from fleeing. But he said his police force has now taken over the investigation.

Lak Leang said military police turned Sath Soeun over to the provincial prison Tuesday.

Kampong Cham Court Direc­tor Tith Sothy said a judge has been assigned to the case, but no charges have yet been made.

He estimated the investigation would take about three months before a trial date is set. Hach So­vannary re­mains in the provincial hospital in serious condition.


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