District police chief is suspended over beating

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The victims were tortured by police chief of Kampong Siem. Supplied

Kampong Cham province’s Kampong Siem district police chief Ek Pandorn has been suspended for allegedly beating a man unconscious, according to a directive seen by The Post on Tuesday.

As a result, provincial police chief Em Kosal on Monday ordered that Pandorn’s subordinate, chief deputy Pich Kimsea, be appointed district police acting chief.

A directive signed off by Kosal on Monday confirmed the post reshuffle in which Kimsea replaced “Colonel Ek Pandorn who is subject to disciplinary actions”.

The decision came after provincial prosecutor Huot Vuthy last Friday ordered Kosal to launch an investigation into a Facebook post written by a man named Bun Thern a day earlier, accusing Pandorn of committing a battery upon his brother Hak Sienghan.

“I would like provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun to help me seek justice for my brother. He [Sienghan] was involved in an argument with another man, after which Kampong Siem district police chief Ek Pandorn detained, beat my brother unconscious and doused water over him.

“He is now hospitalised. Why did a police chief maltreat my brother to such an extent?” the post read.

The Post could not reach Pandorn for comment. However, he wrote a letter to prosecutor Vuthy last Thursday saying that prior to detaining “a construction worker named Hak Sienghan, 38, at 11:30pm on April 16, security guards had held him for threatening Seng Nat, 26, a sound system rental operator”.

Pandorn continued that Sienghan was found to have an “alcohol [blood] content of 1.33 litres” during a breathalyser test.

According to Nat, Sienghan provoked him with insults as he was packing his equipment and ready to go home at the end of a Khmer New Year dance party at a pagoda, when nobody else was dancing.

“Why did you turn off the speakers? We spent so much money to hire them,” Nat said quoting Sienghan, alleged to be drunk at the time.

Nat responded by telling Sienghan “as long as there is nobody dancing, I turn the speakers off”.

Consequently, Nat continued, Sienghan attempted to assault him. As a result, the former went straight to a nearby police station.

Later that evening Sienghan was brought in to the station for questioning in relation to the incident, Nat added. This is when the assault on Sienghan by Pandorn allegedly happened.