Officer gets one year suspended sentence

Source: Khmer Times

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District police officer Chorn Virak was found guilty of unintentional murder.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday handed a Por Senchey district police officer a one-year suspended prison sentence over the accidental death of a bystander who was shot when forces cracked down on a cockfighting ring last month.

Presiding judge Ros Piseth announced the verdict after the trial, sentencing Chorn Virak to one year in jail for unintentional murder, with the entire sentence suspended.

Court spokesman Suos Vithyearandy declined to comment yesterday.

Deputy prosecutor Sieng Sok said the verdict had been announced to the public and declined further comment.

Mr Virak, 27, fired the warning shots that killed Siek Rorn, 33.

Mr Rorn was standing on his balcony overlooking the scene at the time of the incident in Choam Chao 2 commune on January 21.

Phnom Penh police and district authorities provided $8,000 to the victim’s family for a funeral after the incident occurred.

Nop Phany, the victim’s wife, told reporters after her husband died that he was a garment worker and did not work on Sundays. He was on the third floor of their rental house when the stray bullets hit him.

Ms Phany said neighbours helped get her husband into an ambulance, but he died on the way to hospital.

“I am heartbroken, we have two children. What will I do without my husband?” she said. District police chief Yim Sarann declined to comment yesterday, but said on Monday that his officers had been patrolling the area when they found the cockfighting arena.

Spectators watching the cockfighting clashed with officers, knocking some to the ground and causing them to lose their weapons.

“At that point, officers fired into the air in self defence, and unfortunately hit a man who was standing on the balcony of a nearby building,” Mr Sarann said. “They had no intention of hurting him.”

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