Ratanakkiri officer accuses boss of gunpoint threats

By: Phak Seangly

A police officer in Ratanakkiri’s O’Yadav district is on the run after his police chief allegedly threatened to kill him during an argument on Wednesay.

Doem Choeurn, 31, a district police officer since 2007, said yesterday that his chief, Chuob Vannarak, accused him of theft and then rushed to arm himself with a gun, saying: “I can kill you if I want. I shot one [person] dead already. No one dares to do anything to me,” Choeurn recalled.

Choeurn claims he took a siren and walkie-talkie home on Tuesday night due to construction at the station and didn’t inform the chief. Vannarak, however, believed Choeurn had attempted to steal the items. A district officer, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the siren was his and said he had asked Cheourn to take it home due to the construction.

According to Choeurn, some at the station were unhappy with Vannarak’s appointment as chief in late December.

Choeurn filed a letter to the provincial police station for intervention on Wednesday, claiming he needed to take leave for safety. Rights group Adhoc confirmed yesterday that he had sought legal counsel and plans to file a lawsuit to the provincial court.

Vannarak yesterday denied the accusation and said Choeurn snuck into the station and took police property without telling him.

“Let him sue,” Vannarak said. “I have witnesses, and I did not threaten him.