Official Charged After Severing Colleague’s Fingers

The Pursat Provincial Court on Monday charged a border police official with intentional violence for cutting off his colleague’s fingers with a cleaver at their barracks on Friday night, officials said.

Chan Dara, 30, an administrative official in Border Protection Police Unit 825 in Veal Veng district, was arrested shortly after 10 p.m. on Friday after he severed four fingers on the right hand of Kroch Bunnak, 30, who had enraged Mr. Dara by jokingly slapping him across the face, according to district police chief Theang Leng.

He said that Mr. Dara had been drinking at the home of a villager earlier in the evening and got into a heated argument with another man that quickly turned physical. When Mr. Dara used a rock to smash a mirror inside the house, the locals responded by wrestling him to the floor and summoning Unit 825 commander Lun Leang, who ordered him back to his dormitory at the unit’s headquarters.

“Mr. Dara was surrounded by his colleagues upon arriving at the base,” Mr. Leng said.

“He was drunkenly cursing his boss, then Mr. Bunnak slapped his face as a joke,” he said, adding that other officers then helped bathe Mr. Dara, who was covered in grime from fighting.

“After taking a shower, Mr. Dara asked Bunnak if he could slap him back and Mr. Bunnak said, ‘Whatever you want to do!’” he said. “Mr. Dara then took a cleaver to hack Bunnak, but Bunnak raised his hand to block the attack” and lost four fingers in the process.

The district police chief said Mr. Bunnak traveled to Thailand on Saturday for medical treatment. “He expected doctors there to be able to get the four fingers reconnected, but I heard that they couldn’t be reconnected because the severed fingers had not been frozen” in transit, Mr. Leng said.

He said Mr. Dara was arrested by district police shortly after the incident and was held at provincial police headquarters until he was sent to the court Monday.

Neak Sovann, a clerk at the court, said that Mr. Dara was charged with “‘intentional acts of violence that resulted in mutilation or permanent disability.” He said the official faced between five and seven years in jail and was sent to the provincial prison to await trial.

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