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Fugitive military officer charged

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
Military officer Duch Sovannareth had been at large since November. Supplied

The military officer wanted over the Rock Centre nightclub shooting in November has been charged by the municipal court with intentional acts of violence and jailed alongside his two accomplices who were earlier caught by police.

On the night of the incident, Duch Sovannareth and two of his friends had gone out to party at the Rock Entertainment Centre in Tonle Bassac commune.

They got into an argument with Bear Sam Oeun, a DJ there, for not playing the music they requested.

Mr Sovannareth pulled a gun and fired five shots into the floor to threaten the DJ.

Mr Sam Oeun was hit by ricocheting bullets in the leg and hand, and subsequently taken to the Khmer-Russian Hospital.

In December, Mr Sovannareth’s two friends were arrested in Kampong Thom province, where they were hiding from the law.

All three were charged by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court with intentional violence under aggravating circumstances.

Ly Chantha, a penal police officer, said Mr Sovannareth was arrested on Thursday night along the Cambodian-Thai border in Oddar Meanchey province.

“He allegedly shot a DJ at Rock Centre and caused serious injuries,” he said. “He had fled to hide on the Cambodian-Thai border.”

He added that the suspect had been detained at Prey Sar prison alongside his two accomplices awaiting trial.

Sok Khemarin, penal police chief, said the two accomplices, Keo Phirun, 32, and Lor Pich Seiha, 35, face further charges after police seized weapons and drugs from them during their arrest last month.

According to court documents, Mr Sovannareth was convicted to a year in prison for with theft with aggravating circumstances in 2016.

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