Two Police Officers Tried For 2005 Shooting

Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday tried two police officers in absentia for the 2005 attempted murder of a young man they were trying to apprehend.

The victim, Chea Au San, who is now 30, was shot in the foot after officers Tin Toman, 52, and Kong Vuthy, 29, responded to a complaint that a group of youth carrying samurai-style swords were out late at night in Russei Keo district’s Chraing Chamreh I commune, making residents nervous.

When the officers arrived on the scene, the young men fled, and the police shot into the ground with their AK-47 assault rifles. One bullet ricocheted and hit Mr. Au San, the court heard Wednesday.

Mr. Au San was later arrested and jailed for assault in another incident and was not present in court.

The suspects were also not present in court, but it was not clear why, as Presiding Judge Kor Vandy did not explain their absence.

Their defense lawyer, Mon Vimeanchampa, declined to comment on why they were not at their trial or whether they were on the run.

“My clients only shot at the ground, not at the victim, and the bullet just flew up to hit the victim’s foot, so I request the court drop the charges against them,” said Ms. Vimeanchampa.

Judge Vandy said a verdict in the case would be announced on April 12.

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