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Ex-cop admits killing karaoke tormentor

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
The former police officer killed a man mocking his karaoke skills. Koh Santepheap

A former Phnom Penh police officer yesterday admitted during his trial that he shot dead a market security guard who laughed at the way he sang karaoke.

San Borey, 38, who worked with the municipal criminal investigation department, admitted that he fired three bullets at Chey Bunthan, 50, in a restaurant in Meanchey district on October 14 last year.

Mr Borey was arrested that same night and later charged with intentional murder. He is facing up to 15 years in prison if convicted by Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

Presiding Judge Veng Huoth said during the trial yesterday that the accused lashed out after getting enraged by the victim, who was making fun of him.

“He got drunk,” Judge Huoth said. “He was angry at the victim while singing karaoke because he was mocking him and repeating his songs.”

“He fired three bullets at the victim, killing him on the spot,” the judge added. “After the shooting, he fled but was arrested later by local police.”

During yesterday’s trial, Mr Borey said that on the night of murder he and a friend drank beers and sang karoke at the restaurant.

While he was drinking and singing, the victim, a market security guard, and his two friends were also drunk and sitting near his table in the restaurant.

Mr Borey said he got into an argument with the victim prior to opening fire.

“I killed the victim because he kept repeating what I sang and mimicked my singing,” he told the court. “He also criticised me and said I was a stupid police officer.” “I was very angry at him,” he added. “I then fired three bullets at him.”

Mr Borey then asked the judge for leniency.

Court documents show that Mr Bunthan’s widow has demanded 50 million riel (about $12,500) in compensation from the accused. A verdict is due June 15.

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