PHNOM PENH - The Cambodian Court of Appeals on Monday said it found ample evidence to charge a former governor for firing into a crowd of demonstrators last year, then it kicked the case back to the court that dropped the charges in December.
Former Bavet governor Chhouk Bandith is accused of firing directly into a demonstration of factory workers in Svay Rieng province in February 2011, injuring three women.
He was removed from his position following the incident, but rights workers say his powerful political connections prompted the provincial court to drop the charges against him, leading to an appeals hearings last week. Now it appears the same court will be in charge of re-attempting the case.
Demonstrators outside the court called for a guilty verdict last week, in a case that observers say highlights Cambodia’s culture of impunity.
But the three victims of the shooting, Bun Chenda, Nuth Sakorn and Keo Near, told reporters Monday they were pleased with the court’s decision.
Chhouk Bandith’s attorney, Mao Sam Vuththervy, said she will appeal to the Supreme Court to overturn the decision, which she said was “not reasonable.”