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Three police officers charged over beating death

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times Share:
Villagers complained of extortion. Supplied

Three former police officers have been charged with aggravated violence causing death following the beating of two men in October, one of whom died after he was released from custody.
 
Sam Rithyveasna, deputy prosecutor at Kandal provincial court, said yesterday Chhay Sina, Pheakdey Vitou and Kheang Song Theng had been charged in absentia.
 
The have been on the run since the death of the victim.
 
Mr Rithyveasna said he had sent a complaint to the investigating judge, urging action be taken in the case.  
 
All three had failed to appear at the court, Mr Rithyveasna said, despite being ordered to do so.
 
“We will still be pursuing the case, even if they negotiated to pay compensation to the victims outside of court,” he added.
 
Chamroeun Seyha, 26, died in hospital on October 22. He and his brother-in-law, Tith Leap, 22, had been released from custody at Sa’ang district police station the day before.
 
They had been detained after a traffic dispute with Mr Sina, the district immigration police chief, who was wearing plain clothes when the row started.  
 
The two victims were beaten on the street and again in custody.
 
Police claimed a street mob had beaten the men, but witnesses said they saw the officers attack the pair.
 
In December, Mr Seyha’s widow and Mr Leap accepted a payout of $20,000 from the families of the three officers in exchange for dropping a civil complaint.
 
Mr Leap said he received $3,000 while the rest went to the family of Mr Seyha.
 
Seng Socheat, Sa’ang district police chief, said the three officers were sacked by Interior Minister Sar Kheng in January because they disappeared after the incident.
 
“I ordered police forces to look for them. If we see them, we will arrest them to send to the court,” said Mr Socheat.
 
Mr Seyha’s widow Khuon Sreymom could not be reached for comment.

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