Buth Reaksmey Kongkea
TWO victims of an assault and extortion incident by a district military police commander and three subordinates in Kampong Speu province on Saturday say they have rejected a compensation offer from the officers’ families.
Rath Thavy, Kampong Speu provincial coordinator for the local rights group Adhoc, said that the four military policemen, who were arrested last week for allegedly attacking and shooting two charcoal sellers in Kampong Speu when they refused to pay 15,000 riel (US$3.68) at a checkpoint, wanted to pay the compensation before charges were laid in the case.
Suon Chanthy, 21, who was shot in the left leg as he attempted to flee, was reportedly offered $4,000, while 19-year-old Men Bora, who was beaten and sustained a head injury, was offered $300.
“They wanted to pay money to the victims and asked them to withdraw their complaints against them, but they were refused by the victims and their families because the compensation is not [proportionate] with their injuries,” Rath Thavy said.
Seng Vansak, acting commander of the Samrong Tong district military police, allegedly shot Suon Chanthy and is being held along with deputy commander Sen Srun and two subordinates.
48-year-old Mom Sarom, Suon Chanthy’s mother, said she had refused the initial offer because she was asking for $5,000 in compensation from the officers to withdraw her complaint, in order to cover medical costs.
“I ask US$5,000 compensation from them because I think that this amount is appropriate to pay for my son’s leg treatment. If they do not agree, I will not withdraw” the complaint, she said yesterday.
Suon Chanthy said at Preah Kossamak hospital in Phnom Penh yesterday that he would not be able to afford his treatment without a better offer from the police.
“My left leg now is broken and it will take a lot of money and time for treatment. I cannot accept this compensation because it does not fit my injuries. I would like to ask the court to strongly punish and jail them so that they will not do this to other people in the future,” he said yesterday.
Khuth Sopheang, prosecutor of the Kampong Speu provincial court, said yesterday that the four military policemen had yet to be charged.
“I am now waiting to see these four people charged, but they have not been sent to the court yet,” he said. “Although they agreed to pay compensation to the victims … they still face a prosecutor’s complaint because this is a criminal case.”
Men Sybourn, chief of provincial military police in Kampong Speu and Nhorn Thol, deputy chief of the military police criminal office in Kampong Speu, could not be reached for comment yesterday.