Cambodia to re-probe into shooting case against senior official

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-3-5 8:39:28

Cambodia's Court of Appeals on Monday ordered the Svay Rieng Provincial Court to bring ex- governor of Bavet city Chhouk Bandith to trial for " unintentionally shooting" three female garment workers in a mass protest in February last year.

The Court's order was made after a two-day closed-door hearing last week.

"Presiding Judge Khun Leang Meng had charged Chhouk Bandith with unintentionally wounding the three female protesters during a protest in February last year and he ordered the Svay Rieng Provincial Court to re-investigate and set a date for trial," Chin Lyda, a lawyer for human rights group Licadho who is representing the three women, told reporters after the Court's decision.

Chhouk Bundit, who was the only prime suspect of shooting Cambodian garment workers in a mass protest on Feb. 20 last year at the Manhattan Special Economic Zone (SEZ) situated in southeastern Svay Rieng province's Bavet city.

The man was removed from his governor position by Prime Minister Hun Sen on March 5 last year in order to make way for the Svay Rieng Provincial Court to look into the case.

The Svay Rieng Provincial Court initially levied the charge of causing unintentional injuries against Bandith in April last year for his role in the triple shooting. However, the court, without explanation, dropped all charges against Bundith in December.

Amid intense public interest in the case, the Appeals Court said in January that it was carrying out a re-investigation into the case.

The three victims in the shooting are Buot Chenda, 21, who was shot on her chest and exited her back, and the two others are Keo Nea and Nuth Sakhorn, who were shot slightly injured.

Garment industry is Cambodia's largest foreign exchange earner. The sector comprises more than 300 factories, employing some 335, 400 workers--91 percent of them are female.

The country exported garment and textile products in equivalent to 4.6 billion US dollars last year, up 8 percent year-on-year, according to a report of the commerce ministry.

Posted in: Asia-Pacific

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