A police officer who was sentenced Wednesday to three years in jail for shooting a man in an act of road rage told the Phnom Penh Municipal Court that his jail term was unjust as the bullets he fired after the traffic accident were not aimed directly at his victim.
“I will appeal against this court verdict as it is unjust,” said Luy Vuthy, 35, who lost his job as a penal police officer in Chamkar Mon district following the shooting in February 2013.
“I shot three times but I did not know the bullet hit the victim in the foot,” said Mr. Vuthy, who testified in court that he fired one bullet in the air and two into the ground, one of which hit Ham Chantrea.
Mr. Vuthy also argued that he had no case to answer in court as he had paid off his victim after the shooting in order for charges against him to be dropped. The court, he added, should have released him as he had paid the victim “compensation.”
“I request that the court find justice for me,” said the former police officer before he was returned to Prey Sar prison.
Municipal court presiding Judge Suos Sam Ath found Mr. Vuthy guilty of illegal weapon use with aggravating circumstances, but dropped charges against his wife, Eng Lyheang, 31, as there was no evidence that Ms. Lyheang was involved in the shooting though she had been involved in the initial, minor crash with Mr. Chantrea, which then escalated to violence when she called her husband to intervene.
In a second case of apparent road rage, a tuk-tuk driver was shot and wounded early Wednesday morning by an armed assailant following a minor traffic infraction in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district, said Srak Chak commune police chief Kann Vannak.
The injured man was shot once in the torso shortly after midnight by one of two men traveling on a Honda Icon motorcycle, said Mr. Vannak, adding that the victim, whose identity was not immediately known, is being treated in hospital.
Local media said the assailants followed and shot the tuk-tuk driver after a minor verbal altercation stemming from an equally minor traffic dispute.