Son of Gov’t Official Charged With Killing of Police Officer

Phnom Penh Municipal Court has charged the son of a senior Interior Ministry official and three other men with the intentional killing of a national military police officer, Municipal Police Chief Touch Naruth said.

Police arrested Pich Moniroth, the son of the Interior Ministry’s land border police department di­rector General Pich Chivan, and the three other suspects March 9, Touch Naruth said Friday.

The four were arrested in connection with the death of Vai Pheak­dei, who was fatally shot through the neck at a party hosted at Pich Chivan’s home in Phnom Penh’s Chamkar Mon district Feb 25, Touch Naruth said.

He identified the other suspects as Ny Chinith, Chey Vutha and Vuth Sidara, adding that the four men were sent to PJ prison March 14.

According to Touch Naruth, the victim pulled out a revolver to play with at the party, and Chey Vutha and Vuth Sidara grabbed it from him in jest. The gun accidentally discharged and fired a shot through Vai Pheakdei’s neck.

Pich Moniroth and Ny Chinith had nothing to do with the killing and were only arrested because they were at the scene, Touch Na­ruth said.

Contacted Thursday, Pich Chi­van confirmed that his son, who is in his 20s, had been detained and charged with murder. “It is a matter between the young people,” he said, adding that it is up to the court to decide what happened.

On Friday, Pich Chivan said he was not in the house at the time of the killing.

Municipal Court Prosecutor Ouk Savouth declined comment.

Interior Ministry spokesman Lieutenant General Khieu Sopheak said he was aware of the killing, ad­ding that those at the scene had been drinking when the weapon discharged. Pich Chivan is a one-star general and a CPP member, Khieu Sopheak said.

National Military Police Chief Sao Sokha referred questions about the case to the police. “All the criminals were already arrested,” he said.

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