Cambodian police said yesterday a US police officer accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl killed himself while in custody in Cambodia's capital.
Local and US authorities said the death was under investigation.
Donald Ramirez of San Francisco "committed suicide by firing two bullets into his mouth," said Keo Thea, chief of anti-human trafficking police in Phnom Penh.
Reporters were not allowed into the police station to verify the official account, and it was unclear how he could have fired twice.
Police planned a news conference to discuss the incident later yesterday.
Keo Thea said a police guard left his handgun unattended while he went to a bathroom at about 6am yesterday.
The US man used a broomstick to pull the gun from under a woven mat on which the police guard had been sleeping and used the gun to shoot himself, Thea told reporters.
Pol Phithey, a deputy police commissioner in Phnom Penh, said a special committee comprised of court and police officials was being set up to investigate the death.
A US Embassy spokesman identified the dead man as Ramirez, but declined to comment on his death.
"We are aware of reports that an American citizen has killed himself while in police custody and we are investigating the matter. We have no details that we can release at this time," Jeff Daigle said.
Thea's unit arrested Ramirez, 50, last Thursday and accused him of having sex with a 14-year-old ethnic Vietnamese girl.
On Sunday, a prosecutor formally charged Ramirez with debauchery, a Cambodian legal term for sexual offenses against minors.
A CAUTIONARY TALE: Bookseller Lam Wing-kee speaks of the danger that his adopted home Taiwan now faces and the ordeal of his detention in China Lam Wing-kee (林榮基) leaned forward in his chair, answering quickly and sharply to issue a warning to the people of his new home, Taiwan. “Be ready now,” Lam said. “We should be more alert as citizens, we should get ready,” the 64-year-old Hong Konger said. “If they can take Hong Kong back, the next place, I feel, is Taiwan.” Late in Taipei at Causeway Bay Books Mark II, on the 10th floor of a nondescript building, Lam, a wiry, gray-haired bookseller, was sitting at his desk with a bemused gaze behind thin oval glasses. The desk was neat, but crowded with books and a
‘POLICE EVERYWHERE’: A law that would criminalize the publication of images of police officers was passed by the National Assembly and awaits Senate approval Violent clashes erupted in Paris on Saturday as tens of thousands took to the streets to protest against new security legislation, with tensions intensified by the police beating and racial abuse of a black man that shocked France. Several fires were started in Paris, sending acrid smoke into the air, as protesters vented their anger against the security law, which would restrict the publication of police officers’ faces. About 46,000 people marched in Paris and 133,000 in total nationwide, the French Ministry of the Interior said. Protest organizers said about 500,000 joined nationwide, including 200,000 in the capital. French President Emmanuel Macron late
Not enough beds and not enough doctors: a skyrocketing COVID-19 caseload is pushing hospitals in the Balkans to the cusp of collapse, in chaotic scenes reminding some medics of the region’s 1990s wars. After nearly a year of keeping outbreaks more or less under control, the nightmare scenario that the Balkans feared from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic is now starting to unfold. In hard-hit Bosnia-Herzegovina, one doctor described the distress of having to juggle the care of multiple patients whose lives were hanging by a thread. “The situation reminds me of the war, and I’m afraid it could get even worse
SIGNIFICANT RULING: That male prisoners are denied a choice as to their hair length suggests they are treated less favourably than female prisoners, the judges wrote Prison staff were wrong to cut the hair of a former Hong Kong legislator known for his long locks, the territory’s top court said yesterday, in the second significant ruling against authorities this month. The decision came as powerful establishment voices called for an overhaul of the judiciary — something opponents fear could muzzle the Hong Kong legal system’s vaunted independence as Beijing cracks down on its critics. The ruling by the Hong Kong Final Court of Appeal is the culmination of a long legal battle by former Hong Kong legislator Leung Kwok-hung (梁國雄), 64, who served a brief jail sentence in