Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Saturday charged a senior penal police officer working at the Ministry of Interior with attempted murder and illegal use of weapon over a violent shooting incident last week.
The accused, Brigadier General Duong Nakry, 47, is the deputy chief of the Penal Police Department at the Ministry of Interior.
Brig Gen Nakry, who was arrested on Thursday, is now facing up to 10 years in jail if convicted. He is currently being held in prison pending trial.
Colonel Em Saravuth, chief of Chbar Ampov district police, said that at about 12am on Thursday, victim Phoris Storann, 34, director of a security company living in Prek Pra commune, was driving in a Range Rover with his wife Taing Sokleng, 31.
On Monivong Boulevard in front of the Rock Entertainment Center in Chamkar Mon district, Brig Gen Nakry, who was drunk and driving a Lexus 300, got into a traffic dispute with the couple.
After stopping their car, Brig Gen Nakry got out and accused Mr Storann of overtaking him. He ordered Mr Storann to get out and apologise. Mr Storann, however, did not get out or apologise, and decided to drive off.
A car chase ensued until 1am, when Brig Gen Nakry managed to stop Mr Storann in Chbar Ampov district’s Nirot commune.
Col Saravuth noted that after stopping Mr Storann, Brig Gen Nakry got out of his car, pulled a pistol and fired five bullets at Mr Storann’s rear window until it was completely destroyed.
“The bullets did not hit the victims. Ms Sokleng, however, lost consciousness due to shock. She was frightened by the clash,” Col Saravuth said.
After the shooting, Brig Gen Nakry fled the location and was eventually arrested at 2am, Col Saravuth said, adding that the police seized a Lexus 300 car, one pistol, and five unused bullets before sending him to the municipal penal police for questioning.
Captain Sok Rith, a penal police officer at the Municipal General Crimes Department, yesterday said Brig Gen Nakry admitted to firing five bullets, but denied it was an attempt to kill the victims.
Cap Rith said that according to the accused’s confession, on the night of the clash, he was drunk and drove his Lexus along with his friend along Preah Monivong Boulevard to head home in Chamkar Mon district.
Brig Gen Nakry said in his confession that Mr Storann was driving in front of his car and blocked him from overtaking. Brig Gen Nakry tried to signal Mr Storann many times to let him overtake, but to no avail.
The accused noted that after arriving in front of the Rock Entertainment Center, they stopped in front of him, got out of the car and walked toward his, where Mr Storann proceeded to curse at him.
“He said that after he [Mr Storann] had cursed him, Mr Storann told his wife to pick up a gun from his car and threatened to shoot him,” said Cap Rith. “After cursing him and threatening to shoot him, they drove towards Chbar Ampov district. While driving, Mr Storann opened his windows and loudly shouted and cursed at him.”
The accused said that he became angry with Mr Storann for swearing at him from the car. He then drove off to follow Mr Storann and told him to meet face-to-face and settle the problem at the Chbar Ampov district police.
Brig Gen Nakry added that as they approached the district police station, Mr Storann continued to drive away. The accused then fired five bullets at Mr Storann’s car in order to stop him, which hit his rear windows.
“He confessed that he shot the victim’s car because he was angry with him for fleeing and not settling the argument at the district police station,” Cap Rith said. “But he did not intend to kill the victim.”
Mr Storann and his wife could not be contacted for comments.