Two Russei Keo district policemen accused of shooting a man in the leg and then beating him severely, are still free from prosecution and at work six months after the incident, relatives of the victim and police officials said.
During the Chinese New Year celebrations on Feb 10 at around 11 pm, the victim, Chea Hou Sann, 21, and his younger brother Chea Sary, 12, were allegedly accosted by two policemen on motorbikes who stopped them and demanded money.
“I said I had no money,” Chea Hou Sann said this week. “They checked my pockets and found no money. Then they threatened me to lie down with my youngest brother and they shot six bullets around my and my brother’s legs, and one went through my leg.”
The two officers from the Chrang Chamreh 1 commune police post allegedly threatened to handcuff victim’s younger brother if he did not accuse his older brother of attacking police with a knife.
“I did not accuse my brother as the police instructed me, because my brother had no knife,” Chea Sary said. “It was horrible when they shot at my brother and me.”
Police then allegedly dragged Chea Hou Sann five meters off the main road in the commune’s Village 3, where they stuffed his mouth with grass and allegedly broke his already injured leg with a large rock.
Chea Hou Sann had been involved in youth gang fights in the past, which may have drawn the officers’ attention and wrath, but he had neither committed a crime nor provoked the officers the night of the attack, witnesses to the assault said this week.
“I sent my complaint to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Feb 17, but nothing happened to the perpetrators,” said Chea Sokha, 52, the victim’s father. “I tried to send a complaint to the Interior Ministry for intervention to push the court to work on the case, but it was the same thing.”
Phnom Penh Municipal Court Prosecutor Sok Roeun said the court issued a letter to police in March asking for an investigation and report into commune police chief Tin Doman and his brother-in-law Kim Vuthy, another officer.
“We ordered them to send us documents, but we still haven’t received them,” Sok Roeun said.
Russei Keo District Deputy Police Chief El Ranny said the matter had been handed over to municipal police’s Minor Crime Unit for investigation.
Chuon Narin of the Minor Crime Unit said he had spoken with prosecutor Sok Roeun about the case on Monday.
“I told him I had not received the court’s letter,” Chuon Narin said. “I checked with other police officers, but they said they had not received it either.”
Having spent hundreds of dollars on medical treatment for his son, and with neither attending school until the matter is resolved, Chea Sokha said he has asked rights group Adhoc for help.
“I have no money to bribe the court to try my son’s case, but they should think of justice for the victim,” he said.