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Military police officer freed on bail

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Major San Sokhom
Major San Sokhom with police upon his release on bail. Khmer News

Kampong Cham Provincial Court has released a Kratie provincial military officer on bail after he was charged for allegedly threatening to shoot two men at an internet cafe on March 18.

Court spokesman Chum Narann yesterday said that the son of the Kratie provincial military police commander was freed on bail at the beginning of this month, but could not remember the exact date.

Huot Vuthy, provincial court prosecutor, declined to comment yesterday, but identified the accused as Major San Sokhom, 28, who was charged on March 26 with intentional violence with aggravating circumstances, threatening to use a weapon and illegal possession of a weapon.

Investigating Judge Nouv Yarath, who is also the Kampong Cham Provincial Court director, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

On March 23, two men filed a complaint against Maj Sokhom, claiming that he threatened and assaulted them as they were playing an online game at an Internet café in the province’s Kampong Cham city.

According to the complaint, Maj Sokhom pulled 25-year-old Vann Chan Aktichakpanha and 28-year-old Ye Chenda from their seats, took them to his car and pointed his gun at them.

The two managed to escape, and ran back to the cafe, only to be followed and assaulted by Maj Sokhom.

After the incident, Maj Sokhom fled the scene and the Kampong Cham Provincial Court issued a summons for him.

Leng Senghan, a monitor of human rights group Adhoc, yesterday said that he had heard that Major Sokhom was released on bail, but he did not know why the court freed him.

“If he was not sentenced yet, then the investigating judge has the right to decide whether to keep him in custody or free him pending the trial,” he said.

“Rich or powerful people who are accused of crimes find it easier to be set free on bail than poor people,” he added. “I request the courts to treat everyone fairly according to the law and not discriminate between the rich and poor.”

After the two victims filed the complaint, Prime Minister Hun Sen on March 25 ordered Brigadier General San Bunthan, Kratie military police commander and father of Maj Sokhom, to tell his son to turn himself in to the authorities.

“I send a message to [Brig Gen Bunthan] to urge his son to clarify what happened to the court,” Mr Hun Sen had said. “If he loves his son so much, then he will lose his rank.”

Brig Gen Bunthan declined to comment yesterday.

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