Police in Pailin municipality said Tuesday that they have asked for warrants to arrest three suspects in the disappearance of a soldier on a rubber plantation owned by RCAF Major-General Pol Sinuon, nephew of RCAF Deputy Commander-in-Chief Pol Saroeun.
Police said last month that troops guarding the general’s plantation had prevented them from entering to investigate the disappearance of Im Bunny, a soldier in RCAF’s Military Region 5’s 504th Battalion, who was last seen on Aug 10.
Im Bunny, 33, was reportedly detained by plantation guards over the alleged theft of a handgun and police have said witnesses claim Im Bunny is now dead.
Norng Vanny, chief of the Pailin military police’s penal department, declined to name the men he said police suspect of torturing Im Bunny, but said he had asked the court for three arrest warrants on Sept 10.
“I have requested that the prosecutor issue three arrest warrants,” he said. “We have not been able to find the body [of Im Bunny] because we have not made the arrests.”
Battambang Provincial Court Prosecutor Sar Yosthavrak said he was unable to answer a reporter’s questions about the case as he did not have the case file to hand.
Yin Meng Ly, provincial coordinator for the local rights group Adhoc, said Tuesday that he had met with Sar Yosthavrak on Monday and the prosecutor said he had just received the arrest warrant request, but claimed the investigation had made no recent gains.
The request for the arrest warrants comes within a few weeks of a Ministry of Justice letter to the Battambang Provincial Court ordering it to investigate Major-General Pol Sinuon’s alleged threatening of a journalist in June.
According to a copy of an Aug 27 letter signed by Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana, the Cambodian Center for Human Rights requested that authorities take action against Pol Sinuon.
Chhim Chenda, a reporter for Kampuchea Thmey newspaper, complained to the Battambang court alleging that on June 2 Pol Sinuon had attempted to draw a pistol on him at a Battambang town restaurant.
Chhim Chenda alleged by telephone on Tuesday that Pol Sinuon became enraged after he informally addressed the general as “elder brother.”
Chhim Chenda added that he had already withdrawn the lawsuit after Pol Sinuon paid him $513 in compensation.
A man answering Pol Sinuon’s telephone number Tuesday said he was not Pol Sinuon. Ang Vong Vathana and Battambang Provincial Court Director Nil Nonn could not be reached Tuesday.