S Reap Police Detain, Release Son of Official

Police in Siem Reap town re­leased the son of a senior Interior Ministry official on Friday after detaining him and two others for allegedly drawing guns during an altercation, officials said.

Khann Rithy, 23, an official at the Interior Ministry’s bodyguard de­partment and son of the ministry’s Funcinpec Secretary of State Khann Savoeun, was arrested Thursday evening along with a bodyguard and a driver, said Ou Em, head of the provincial serious crime office.

“Khann Rithy and one bodyguard used guns and threatened to shoot other boys in a restaurant after they had a verbal argument,” he said.

Ou Em said the 23-year-old had allegedly thrown a glass, which smashed, injuring a member of a larger group of youths in the restaurant.

“They pointed guns at the other boys because…there were more of them and there were only three on [Khann Rithy’s] side,” he said.

Ou Em said he could not recall the name of the restaurant or the two men arrested with Khann Rithy. All three fled the restaurant after the altercation and were detained later by police when their car left the road on the outskirts of Siem Reap town, he added.

Neither Khann Rithy nor Khann Savoeun could be reached for comment Monday

Ou Em said Khann Rithy was released by police after paying $200 to his alleged victim, who withdrew his complaint.

“It is a compromise between parties, the suspects and the victim,” he said, adding that police had nevertheless confiscated two handguns from the men and their permits to carry weapons.

Sours Narin, a Siem Reap pro­vince investigator for the rights group Adhoc, said Monday that senior officials, the wealthy and their children often use money to avoid prosecution.

“It’s a habit among them,” Sours Narin said.

“Violators have always used money for compensation. Because of this, they do not fear the law,” he said.


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