The Battambang provincial court on Thursday released a 14-year-old boy who had been detained for accidentally firing a home-made gun and killing a nine-year-old boy in Samlot district on Tuesday, provincial court spokesman Tieng Sambor said.
Sambor told The Post on Thursday that following the boy’s arrest for killing Thnum Bunna in Ta Sanh commune’s Daun Trech village, the Battambang provincial investigating judge had decided to free him because he was a minor.
“After the police sent the child to the provincial court, the case was heard by an investigating judge who decided to release the boy because he was too young to be detained further."
“I cannot tell you what punishment the judge implemented in exchange for his release,” she said.
Choeung Kim Song, the chief of the provincial police’s minor crimes bureau, told The Post that after receiving the case from Samlot district police, he immediately prepared a report and sent the case to the Battambang provincial court, but he was unaware of the court’s decision.
“I didn’t know what the court would do. The police detained the victim, prepared the evidence and sent a report to the court. The decision to release or detain [the boy] falls under the court’s jurisdiction. It was beyond my authority,” he said.
A policeman working at Samlot police headquarters, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told The Post on Thursday that the victim died instantly.
He said the 14-year-old boy had been playing with a home-made gun which was hidden under a bed. After accidentally pulling the trigger, the police source said, the bullet went through the victim’s mouth and then his ear, killing him on the spot.
He said after the accident, the police inspected the scene and ascertained that the 14-year-old boy had fired the bullet by mistake.
The police then sent the case to the Battambang provincial police to pursue legal action, he said.
“I don’t know what the court decided. I submitted my report to the higher authorities. The boy clearly didn’t intend to shoot the victim. They were neighbours who played with each other every day."
“Their parents never argued with each other and their houses were located close together,” he said.