For Second Time, Missing Officers Asked To Appear

More than a week after police officers allegedly beat two men, including one who later died, Kandal provincial police have issued a second official request for three officers to come in for questioning, officials said on Monday.

While police are not actively seeking their arrest, Kandal provincial court prosecutor Lim Sokuntha said that a warrant would be issued if the three men do not show up soon.

Tith Leap, 22, said last week that he and his brother-in-law Chamroeun Seyha, 26, were beaten by Sa’ang district police officers on a roadside in Prek Koy commune and at the district police station on October 21 after they were arrested over a traffic dispute. Chamroeun Seyha died in a Takhmao City hospital the day after the beating.

District officers Chhay Sina, Pheakdey Vitou and Kheang Song Theng, who are being sought for questioning, have not shown up for work since Chamroeun Seyha died, police officials said.

“If they don’t go to speak with provincial police, it means that they are the perpetrators,” Sa’ang district police chief Seng Socheat said on Monday. “If they are found to be the perpetrators, they must be punished according to the law.”

Mr. Socheat said he was not at the district police headquarters when Mr. Leap and Chamroeun Seyha were brought into the station, but that Mr. Sina, who initially stopped the men, called him at the time.

Asked whether officers beat the two men while they were in custody, Mr. Socheat said: “We can say that they beat them more.”

Police initially said the pair were beaten by a mob of local villagers, but last week provincial police chief Eav Chamroeun said both police officers and villagers were involved in the beating along National Road 21.

Mr. Leap, the brother-in-law, said the pair were beaten with plastic pipes once they were taken inside the police station. Local residents said the men entered the station in decent shape and could barely walk when they emerged.

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