Man held for beating border official

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
The man charged over hitting a border official with a beer glass at a wedding. Supplied

A 38-year-old businessman was charged by Oddar Meanchey Provincial Court yesterday for beating an immigration police officer at a wedding party.

Captain Cheap Sareap, Samrong city police chief of staff, identified the suspect as Heng Sovannara, a clothing vendor at O’Smach Market in Samrong city’s O’Smach commune.

The suspect was arrested on Saturday and charged yesterday with intentional acts of violence.

The victim was identified as Colonel Soy Hongmeng, 48, the deputy chief of O’Smach International Border Checkpoint at the Cambodian-Thai border in Oddar Meanchey province. He was seriously injured after being hit on the head by the suspect with a glass of beer.

Cap Sareap said that according to a police report, the suspect and victim both attended a wedding party in O’Smach commune in November.

They sat and drank at the same table. The border official got into a drunken argument with Mr Sovannara and punched him in the face, causing injuries. However, Mr Sovannara did not file a lawsuit against him.

On Saturday evening, Cap Sareap added, the two men attended another wedding ceremony in O’Smach commune and sat at tables nearby each other.

Mr Sovannara, who was angry at Col Hongmeng for punching him last year, continually stared at him during the wedding in an angry manner.

Col Hongmeng, who got drunk, went toward Mr Sovannara and attempted to hit him with a glass of beer.

But Mr Sovannara caught the glass and hit Col Hongmeng in the head with it instead, causing serious injuries.

“The suspect was immediately arrested by local police after hitting the victim,” Cap Sareap said. “The victim was rescued by his friends and sent to a hospital in Surin province in Thailand for treatment.”

Deputy district police chief Major Luy Nak said Mr Sovannara, while being interrogated at the police station, admitted to hitting the border official but said it was in self-defence.

“He confessed that he did not intend to beat the victim,” he said. “He said he beat the victim because the victim held the glass and tried to hit him first. He grabbed the glass from the victim and hit him back.”

Maj Nak said Mr Sovannara has been sent to prison pending his trial. Col Hongmeng could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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