Police officer turns self in over fatal shooting

A police officer wanted for questioning over a fatal shooting during an operation in Prey Veng province yesterday turned himself in at the provincial police headquarters.

National Police chief General Neth Savoeun yesterday said Chem Ratanak, Preah Sdech district’s deputy police chief, turned himself in to the police yesterday evening, adding that he and colleague Chem Vin were then placed under pre-trial detention.

Gen Savoeun said police had questioned 10 people in connection with the case, noting that Chea Ladin, a police officer who headed the operation without permission, was sacked from his position yesterday.

“In total, five people were detained and will be sent to court on Wednesday [today],” he said. “Police allowed the others to go back home after they signed an agreement over their testimonies and were found to be innocent.”

During an operation on Saturday night, Mr Ratanak and Mr Vin, fired five shots at Mr Ravuth and Mr Khemarin who were travelling in a car.

Mr Ravuth died at the scene and Mr Khemarin was injured. The incident caused an uproar as the victims’ families took to Facebook calling for justice over the deadly shooting.

A police report said Mr Ravuth had bought a Toyota Prius through instalment payments from Phan Sody who repossessed the car because he was still owed $3,000.

It said that on Saturday, Mr Sody rented the car to a Chinese national, but Mr Ravuth managed to regain possession of it.

Mr Sody filed a complaint with police, saying his car had been stolen, and police tracked it down through its GPS system.

The police report said police flagged down Mr Ravuth, who was driving the car with Mr Khemarin inside, but he refused to stop and rammed a police car, prompting the two officers to fire the shots.

Mr Ravuth died and Mr Khemarin was injured in the shooting.

Gen Savoeun noted that Mr Sody and two of his friends Seng Chhin and Pheap Phany were arrested for making false police reports against Mr Ravuth.