Soldier Charged With Murder Over Land Dispute

The Preah Vihear Provincial Court on Tuesday charged a Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) soldier with murder and unauthorized possession of a weapon after he shot and killed an 18-year-old man with an AK-47 assault rifle on Saturday in Kulen district, a prosecutor said.

The soldier, Poeun Bas, 30, a member of RCAF’s Brigade 41, confessed to court officials that he had shot the young man, Try Chamroeun, during an argument with local villagers over property boundaries in the area, according to deputy prosecutor Sreng Vuthea.

“The defendant confessed that he shot to threaten villagers because they did not stop cultivating land that he claimed belonged to him,” Mr. Vuthea said.

Try Chamroeun’s father said on Monday that the teenager was shot while taking a photograph of Mr. Bas as the soldier tried to order 10 local families off their land on behalf of an RCAF major.

The court also charged Mr. Bas with unauthorized possession of a weapon because the AK-47 he used did not belong to him, but had been borrowed from another soldier, Mr. Vuthea said.

Preah Vihear police chief Si Kiri said Mr. Bas was detained in the provincial prison after being charged.

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