Soldier Charged With Murder Of Oddar Meanchey Villager

Siem Reap Provincial Court yesterday charged an RCAF soldier with the murder of an Oddar Mean­chey villager on Monday, a court official said.

The court charged Private Vong Taing Oun, 38, with the intentional killing of Sar Lin, 33, in Oddar Meanchey’s Trapaing Prasat district, Siem Reap provincial chief prosecutor Ty Sovanthal said.

“We charged him with intentional killing and already sent him to detention,” he said.

Mr Taing Oun allegedly shot Lin two times, killing him instantly as Lin walked home in Bak Anloung commune’s Sre La’or village after an argument, Trapaing Prasat district military police commander Ly Darith said.

Mr Darith said that on Monday evening, the victim and suspect were drinking at a neighbor’s house when an argument broke out. They fought briefly before the homeowner asked them to leave. The suspect, he added, went to his nearby barracks to retrieve his AK-47 assault rifle, found Lin and allegedly shot him dead at about 9 pm.

Mr Darith said the argument be­gan when the victim reminded the suspect that he was once the lover of Mr Taing Oun’s second wife.

“Drunkenness, anger and low education caused him to commit the crime,” Mr Darith said, adding that the suspect was arrested Tuesday in his barracks.

In a separate case, a group of five or six soldiers allegedly fought with four villagers and detained one in the 42nd Brigade’s barracks in Oddar Meanchey on Tuesday, said Srey Naren, Oddar Meanchey provincial coordinator for human rights group Adhoc.

“The villagers filed the complaint, accusing the soldiers of causing injury and torture,” Mr Naren said, adding that the dispute occurred after the soldiers, who were drinking at a village shop, refused to engage in small talk with Thlang Sophal, a village leader in Sam­raong city’s Konkriel commune, leading to a brawl.

“I think that it strongly violates the villagers’ human rights. I would like the commanders to strengthen the rules for soldiers,” Mr Naren said, adding that he will begin investing the case soon.

Colonel Neak Vong, deputy commander of the 42nd Brigade, said the soldiers did not fight the villagers. “That was not correct. It was a dispute between the new village chief and an old village chief,” he said.

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