A 42-year-old businessman was yesterday cleared of trying to kill a policeman by running him down in his car, but was convicted of a lesser charge.
Sa Sary, of Russey Keo district’s Chraing Chamresh I commune, was jailed for two years, six months of which was suspended.
Mr Sary had been accused of driving his Lexus car and hitting the police officer, seriously injuring him.
Mr Sary, who is in the real estate business, was said to have been drunk and angry after being stopped for an alcohol and weapons inspection on February 16.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court reduced the charge from attempted murder and obstruction of a public official, which carries a jail term of up to 15 years, to intentional acts of violence.
“Witnesses testified in court that on the night of the incident they did not see the victim being hit by the accused,” said Presiding Judge Ros Piseth. “He was hit and injured by the car door of the accused when he stopped the car for an alcohol inspection of its driver and other illegal things. The accused opened the car door and hit him.”
“Therefore, the court has decided to change his charges from attempted murder and obstruction of a public official to intentional acts of violence,” he added.
According to a police report, the accused drove while drunk and crossed a police checkpoint on National Road 5, in Russey Keo district’s Russey Keo commune.
Police officer Hul Chanreasy, 29, ran to stop the accused’s car and stood in front of it and ordered the accused to stop and get out for an inspection.
However, the report said Mr Sary did not stop. He sped up and drove at the victim, knocking him unconscious on the street. Mr Sary fled but was arrested by police the same night.
After his arrest, police tested him for alcohol and recorded a reading of 0.39 miligrams.
During his trial on June 11, the accused denied the allegations. He said he did not drive the car to hit the victim.
He said that on the day of the accident, he had driven the car after drinking five cans of beer with friends. When he arrived at the checkpoint, Mr Chanreasy stopped him for a weapons, drugs and alcohol inspection.
He opened the car door and got out. He saw the victim with an injury to his forehead lying on the road.
After seeing the injured officer, he was afraid that he would be accused of hitting the victim and be beaten by other policemen, so he fled.
“The victim injured himself,” he claimed. “He laid down on the street near my car. But I do not know how he got injured. I did not hit him.”