The head of Preah Vihear's provincial jail has been imprisoned on suspicion of conspiring to release prisoners and suspects
- From: Chim <ChimS1@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 6 May 2009 03:03:05 -0700 (PDT)
'Drunk' prison chief locked up as multiple inmates escape jail
Written by Cheang Sokha
Wednesday, 06 May 2009
Eight men have escaped Preah Vihear prison since the new head was
appointed a month ago, but officials say monitoring has improved.
THE head of Preah Vihear's provincial jail has been imprisoned on
suspicion of conspiring to release prisoners and suspects.
Deputy Prosecutor Thol Kimheung issued the detention order against
prison Chief Sar Saing on Friday and charged him and two guards with
"I have handed over the case to the investigating judge to determine
whether they conspired or simply acted carelessly," Thol Kimheung told
the Post. "If the court finds them guilty of conspiracy, they will be
punished. If it is simply dereliction of duty, they will be
Thol Kimheung said seven prisoners had escaped from the prison on
Thursday night after Sar Saing and his guards got drunk with them. The
inmates who fled were guilty of crimes such as murder, rape and
Thol Kimheung said 12 prisoners had fled the jail so far this year due
to carelessness or conspiracy by the guards.
"And we are concerned that the escaped prisoners might commit other
crimes," he said, adding that he had issued arrest warrants for all
Ros Chanthy, the deputy chief of the prison, admitted prison officials
had been drinking with the prisoners but blamed the escapes on
carelessness rather than conspiracy.
"Now we have strictly improved our monitoring of all prisoners," Ros
Chanthy told the Post. "I have made reforms with my staff."
Ros Chanthy said that as soon as he had learned the men had escaped,
the guards tried to pursue them. But they failed to find them because
it happened at night and the prisoners fled into the surrounding
Hor Neath, the provincial coordinator of local human rights group
Adhoc, said some escapees had been convicted of crimes while others
were awaiting trial.
"I believe that they meant to free the prisoners," he said, adding
that since Sar Saing's appointment as prison chief a month ago, eight
prisoners had managed to break out of the newly built jail. One man
escaped on April 13 and the group of seven on Thursday night. Four
additional prisoners escaped in February.
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