PHNOM PENH - Svay Rieng provincial court on Tuesday convicted a former city governor in absentia for the shooting injury of three women last year, after he fired into a crowd of demonstrating factory workers.
Chhouk Bandith, former governor of Bavet city, was sentenced to one year and a half in jail and fined $10,000 for the shooting.
Svay Rieng judge Leang Sour also issued an arrest warrant for Chhouk Bandith, who remains at large.
Chhin Lida, lawyer for the victims of the shooting, said after Tuesday’s decision that the prison sentence was too light for a man who fired directly into a crowd of people.
The shooting took place on Feb. 20, 2012, as more than 1,000 factory workers demonstrated for better work conditions.
Nuth Sakorn, 24, who was injured in the shooting, said she was happy with Tuesday’s decision, but she urged authorities to arrest Chhouk Bandith and bring him to jail. “I’m afraid he’ll get back at us,” she said.
Chhouk Bandith’s lawyer declined to comment following Tuesday’s verdict.
In a statement, the Cambodian Community Legal Education Center and the rights group Licadho both decried the light sentencing, “for actions that amounted to an attempted triple homicide.”