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Fugitive Governor Now Abroad, Police Say

  • Heng Reaksmey
  • VOA Khmer

Former Bavet city governor Chhouk Bandith.

Former Bavet city governor Chhouk Bandith.

A spokesman for Cambodia’s national police says they have been unable to apprehend former Bavet city governor Chhouk Bandith, who has been tried in absentia for shooting into a crowd of workers in 2012.

Police spokesman Khiet Chantarith said Chhouk Bandith has fled abroad, though he declined to say which country. Bavet city, Svay Rieng province, sits on the border with Vietnam.

Three women were seriously injured when Chhouk Bandith fired into a crowd of demonstrators in Bavet in February 2012. A lawyer for the women says they remain worried for their safety, with their assailant still at large.

Critics say authorities failed to arrest Chhouk Bandith, despite a court verdict of guilty, because of his political connections.

The Appeals Court last week upheld a guilty verdict related to accidental harm, which calls for an 18-month prison sentence and some $10,000 in compensation to victims.

Khiet Chantarith said police have not yet closed the case and that he expects Chhouk Bandith to be arrested “soon.”
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