Suspected Hit-and-Run Driver No-Show in Court

The 20-year-old daughter of a Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RFAC) major, who police identified as the driver of an SUV that hit and killed an Irish national in September, has again failed to heed a summons to appear before the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, the investigating judge said Wednesday.

Tomas Beecher, 30, was struck by a Range Rover while walking his bicycle across Monivong Boulevard in Chamkar Mon district in the early hours of September 28.

Police subsequently named the driver as Sila Ratanak, the daughter of Major Hou Sila, head of the finance office for the RCAF’s sub-military region in Preah Vihear province.

On Wednesday, Investigating Judge Leang Samnath said he summoned Ms. Ratanak to appear in court for questioning on Tuesday, but she requested a postponement.

“Her lawyer was busy; he [also] could not come,” the judge added.

Ms. Ratanak previously failed to answer a court summons issued on October 16.

Contacted Wednesday, her lawyer, May Vannady, refused to discuss the case or explain why he did not appear at the court on Tuesday.

“I have not met [Ms. Ratanak] yet, but her parents asked me to take on the case,” he said.

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