Warrant Out for Suspected Karaoke Killer

Municipal and military police officials have identified the suspected killer of an off-duty police officer who was shot in a karaoke parlor Monday night, and have requested arrest warrants for five other members of a gang they suspect of being involved in the slaying.

An arrest warrant has been requested for former police officer Chou Sarida, 31, who was allegedly seen by witnesses shooting Interior Ministry Police Officer Suy Sadom, 28, in the head at the Pailin Karaoke parlor, said Lek Vannak, deputy municipal judicial police chief.

Arrest warrants have also been requested for five of Chou Sar­ida’s companions who were allegedly in the karaoke room at the time of the shooting, according to a document written by Municipal Police Chief Suon Chhengly and obtained Thurs­day.

Officials have not yet identified these five suspects.

Chou Sarida and at least one other suspect in Monday night’s incident were arrested earlier this year for shooting up a karaoke room in the Hollywood Nightclub in the Parkway Square shopping mall, Phnom Penh Governor Chea Sophara said Thursday.

“These are bad guys. They are not educated and they do not accept the law or human rights,” Chea Sophara said.

He noted that although the Chou Sarida and one other suspect had been arrested for firing at police during the February incident at the Hollywood club, they were released on bail.

“They were set free and now they are doing criminal [acts] again,” Chea Sophara said.

The February shooting made international headlines when Prime Minister Hun Sen’s nephew Hun Chea, 24, and six other young men—a number of whom are sons of high-ranking officials and minor members of the royal family—were arrested in connection with the shootout.

Authorities did not associate Hun Chea’s name with Monday night’s incident.

After the February shooting, officials were initially hesitant to arrest the gang of privileged young men. But they detained the group after Hun Sen gave his consent to arrest his nephew.

All of those arrested were released on bail after their parents guaranteed they would not be involved in any further crimes, said Investigating Judge Kong Seth at the time.

Kong Seth could not be reached for comment Thursday.

According to Chea Sophara, Chou Sarida and one of the other five suspects have fled Phnom Penh and are thought to be in Battambang province.

Sim Hong, deputy Municipal Military Police chief, said Thursday that investigators have been dispatched to track down the two suspects.

“Arresting these suspects is easier than peeling a ripe banana,” Sim Hong said.

Tip Kum, deputy police chief for Chamkar Mon district where the murder took place, said Thursday that Suy Sadom was shot because Chou Sarida was jealous of the victim’s relationship with a woman.

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