Cops ruf­fle feath­ers by eat­ing 92 fight­ing cocks

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

PHNOM PENH: Cam­bo­dian po­lice ruf­fled feath­ers yes­ter­day af­ter they killed – and ate – 92 roost­ers that were seized ear­lier this month dur­ing a raid on an il­le­gal cock­fight­ing ring al­legedly run by a rel­a­tive of Prime Min­is­ter Hun Sen.

The birds were rounded up by po­lice af­ter they shut­tered the two ru­ral cock­fight­ing dens on Dec 4 and ar­rested Hun Sen’s nephew-in-law Thai Phany.

Thai Phany, a Cam­bo­dian-Aus­tralian cit­i­zen, was charged with run­ning an il­le­gal gam­bling op­er­a­tion – a rare le­gal move against a mem­ber of Hun Sen’s pow­er­ful family.

But while the raids were wel­comed in a coun­try teem­ing with of­fi­cial cor­rup­tion, a court order to slaugh­ter all 92 birds set off a flurry of crit­i­cism yes­ter­day as ne­ti­zens cried foul over the an­i­mals be­ing given a harsher sen­tence than the peo­ple in­volved.

Scores of peo­ple were ini­tially de­tained in the po­lice raid, but most have since been re­leased af­ter re­ceiv­ing light sus­pended sen­tences, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal me­dia.

“War­rant to kill chick­ens! Where are the chicken own­ers, aren’t they freed?” Hing Sok­san wrote on Face­book, where pho­tos of the slaugh­ter have been cir­cu­lat­ing.

“The court’s achieve­ment by the end of 2017: death sen­tence for 92 fight­ing cocks,” another Face­book user quipped about a jus­tice sys­tem many de­cry as tooth­less against the graft un­der­pin­ning Hun Sen’s au­thor­i­tar­ian regime.

Roeun Nara, Kan­dal prov­ince’s deputy po­lice chief, con­firmed that the birds were killed on Wed­nes­day fol­low­ing a war­rant from the pro­vin­cial court.

“We gave the chick­ens to our forces to eat,” he said, brush­ing off the on­line crit­i­cism.

The court doc­u­ment, seen by AFP yes­ter­day, said the slaugh­ter was or­dered “to pre­vent the of­fence from hap­pen­ing again and to speed up the in­ves­ti­ga­tion pro­ceed­ings”. – AFP

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