Oknha and two accomplices sent to court over fatal shooting of young couple in Cambodia

Oknha Srey Sina, 50, suspected of a double murder in Chbar district, was taken to Phnom Penh Municipal Court on June 19. - Photo: Phnom Penh Municipal Police

PHNOM PENH: Oknha Srey Sina, 50, and two accomplices were sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday (June 19) afternoon for questioning in connection with a shooting that killed a couple engaged to be married on June 17 at Borey Peng Huoth Boeung Snor in Nirouth commune of Phnom Penh’s Chbar Ampov district.

Plang Sophal, spokesperson for the court, said Sina and the other two suspects were brought in for questioning and then returned to the Penal Police Department of the Ministry of Interior.

“They were sent to the court [on the afternoon of June 19] for further legal procedures, but since working hours came to a close, we will continue the questioning [on the morning of June 20],” Sophal said.

He stated the shooting occurred over a dispute between the suspect's tenant and the victim's family.

After the shooting, the suspect fled the scene in a car but was arrested a few hours later by Ang Snuol district police in Kandal province.

The suspect confessed to police that he was furious with the victims, who allegedly insulted him and kicked him out of the house when he approached to intercede in the dispute.

“I intervened to allow my tenant to install a clothesline. They said, ‘You go away. You wore shoes in my home,’” he claimed, adding that he told them not to act rudely towards him because he was much older than them.

“They cursed and dismissed me repeatedly, saying, ‘You do not enter my house, my home...’ They wanted to have a dispute with my tenant,” Sina told officers.

“They did not listen and jumped at me, so I shot. My gun is always with me,” he said.

The shooting killed photographers Long Lysong, 27, and his fiancee Khim Kanhchana, 26, and injured two others. The couple planned to get married this October.

National Police deputy chief and Phnom Penh Municipal Police chief Chuon Narin told journalists during the investigation that, preliminarily, a dispute between neighbours was the reason behind the incident. He expressed regret over the murder, although admitted that it was unavoidable.

“This could not be prevented because it was a case of murder and shooting; we could not know in advance to prevent it.

"We were only able to apprehend the suspect after the shooting,” he said, adding that they were unaware of the number of people involved at the time.

In the meantime, fake news was spread on social media claiming that the Oknha was released.

Ministry spokesperson Touch Sokhak rejected the news, calling it false and an attempt to cause unrest for political gain and undermine the procedures and reputation of the judicial police handling the case.

“This is a distortion of the truth, so please do not believe this provocative information. Criminal police from the [ministry] are continuing to work according to professional procedures ... to build a case to be sent to court without violating the criminal procedure,” he said.

Yong Kim Eng, president of the People's Centre for Development and Peace (PDP Centre), said the case is mainly due to the aggressiveness of the tycoon, who is impatient and intolerant, leading to the use of violence.

“Ignorance of the moral standards of living in society can lead people to use violence, as evidenced by the Oknha’s actions against the young couple. It is the worst and most brutal case,” he said.

Kim Eng also noted that the power of possessing a gun was another reason for the incident. He said the display of personal power over neighbours and society showed his selfish pride, believing that he was untouchable.

He stated that while the country is secure and peaceful, it is unnecessary for individuals not involved in law enforcement to use such weapons.

He said the shooting also highlights the issue of weapons control. He questioned why a private individual, who is not an official, had such a weapon in their possession.

Kim Eng called for the perpetrators to be severely sentenced in accordance with the law and urged reconsideration of the possession and management of weapons.

He also stressed that those who have the right to possess guns must be patient and not aggressive like Sina. - The Phnom Penh Post/ANN

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Cambodia , Oknha , accomplices , court , shooting , couple


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