For the third time in two months, a nephew of Prime Minister Hun Sen was behind bars, surrendering to police at Prey Sar prison on Saturday evening, officials said Sunday.
Hun To, 24, arrived at the prison with his mother and his lawyer to face charges stemming from a Dec 16 shootout in a Phnom Penh beer garden that left two men wounded.
“He doesn’t want the public to misunderstand; he supports the law, he is the victim of this shooting, he is clean and wants to allow the courts to process the law,” said Dy Borima, Hun To’s lawyer, while explaining why his client turned himself in.
Prosecutors have charged Hun To with illegal use of a weapon and destruction of public property after a shootout in the Parkway beer garden in which two men were wounded.
The shooting occurred after a Cambodian-Australian man accused Hun To and his cousin, Hun Chea, another nephew of Hun Sen, of forcing the Cambodian-Australian man’s sister-in-law to sit with them.
The shooting left Khem Leang, a friend of the Cambodian-Australian, and Thon Sakhon, Hun To’s bodyguard, with gunshot wounds to their legs.
Kheang Leang has been charged in the shooting, but remains at large because a guard freed him from custody, police said. Thon Sakhon has been charged and is in municipal jail under doctor’s care. Authorities deported the Cambodian-Australian man a day after the shooting.
Police arrested Hun Chea last week on the same charges his cousin faces now, authorities said. Both cousins are being held in Prey Sar prison.
Hun To never had a weapon, Dy Borima said Sunday. “My client jumped into a car and did not fight at all,” the lawyer said.
Hun Sen last week ordered two intervention police officials transferred and a penalty police officer fired because he believed they had not handled the investigation properly.
In late October, the prime minister ordered another nephew, Nhim Pov, put into Prey Sar prison for several days after the teenager allegedly got drunk and shot a handgun outside a karoake parlor.