Suspected Chinese Criminal Flees Phnom Penh Hospital

A Chinese criminal suspect escaped Friday night from a Phnom Penh hospital where he was under police guard at the req­uest of the Chinese Embassy, police and hospital staff said Sunday.

The escape of 31-year-old Zheng Ling Yiak out a back window of Ta Cheng Hospital has district and military police officials criticizing Interior Ministry police for poor surveillance.

However, Ten Borany, deputy director of Interior Ministry penal police, defended police, saying Monday the suspect, who was supposed to be too injured to walk on his own, must have escaped with assistance.

Zheng Ling Yiak was arrested Feb 25 with fellow Chinese national Jang Dayung, 30, after the two allegedly stabbed each other at a residence in Chamkar Mon district, Khuon Sam Ol, Chamkar Mon district military police commander, said Monday.

Both men were taken to Ta Cheng Hospital where Zheng Ling Yiak was admitted with life-threatening injuries, said Khuon Sam Ol. Municipal Court Pros­ecutor Ngeth Sarath, who charg­ed both Chinese nationals with assault, said Monday he warned police that Zheng Ling Yiak should be watched carefully.

“I informed police to the guard the suspect…carefully and around the clock because I heard that he was a criminal suspect who es­caped from China,” said Ngeth Sarath.

According to Khuon Sam Ol, Interior Ministry police were stationed at the hospital following a request from the Chinese Emb­assy. He said embassy officials said the man was a Chinese criminal on the run. Officials at the Chinese Emb­assy could not be reached Monday.

According to police, Zheng Ling Yiak escaped Friday night between 8 and 10, by going out a window and somehow getting down a ladder at the back of the hospital.

“The escape is the [Interior Ministry] police’s fault,” said Chamkar Mon Deputy Police Chief Teap Kum. “My job was to cooperate with police from the Ministry of Interior.”

Ten Borany said five plainclothes policemen were stationed at the hospital to guard Zheng Ling Yiak. To escape, the severely injured patient must have had assistance, he said.

“We suspect a lot of hospital staff helped the suspect escape…. Now we are considering calling the director of the hospital for questioning,” said Ten Borany, noting the hospital assured police the suspect could not walk.

But Ta Cheng Hospital Deputy Director Wang Tian Fu denied Sunday the hospital had anything to do with the patient’s escape.

The injured man had regular visitors, said Wang Tian Fu, adding that accomplices must have helped Zheng Ling Yiak.

Hok Lundy, director-general of National Police, said Monday he was not aware of the case.

 

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