Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court tried the chief of the Cambodian Informal Economic Workers Association who was accused of purposely hitting a policeman with his vehicle in a case widely ridiculed by the public.
Din Puthy, 36, CIWA chief, was charged with violence with aggravating circumstances after allegedly hitting deputy immigration police chief Chhean Piseth with his vehicle in December 2016 in Poipet city.
Police accused Mr Puthy of deliberately driving his SUV into Mr Piseth during a border confrontation. Critics of the police officer say he staged the incident and faked his injuries after video of the incident surfaced showing him flopping to the ground.
Kuoy Bunna, Mr Puthy’s lawyer, said yesterday that he denied the accusations in court and asked for the charge to be dropped.
“During the hearing, I asked for my client to be free from the charges because the case has no evidence to prove my client drove his vehicle to hit the plaintiff,” he said.
Mr Puthy said after the hearing that Mr Piseth fell to the ground of his own accord as seen in the video that went viral online after the incident.
“I did not drive the vehicle to hit him, and when he was unconscious, my car’s tire did not touch his leg,” he said. “I also have other evidence, so this is unfair for me and I would like the court to drop the charges against me.”
Deputy prosecutor Sok Keobandith and Mr Piseth’s lawyer could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Soum Chankea, provincial coordinator with rights group Adhoc, said that the charges are overblown.
“The acts that took place during the incident, which we monitored, do not warrant the charges laid by the court,” he said.
A verdict is due Friday.