Body of Newspaper Publisher Found in Suitcase

The publisher of a little-known newspaper, Voice of Khmer Krom, was discovered Wednesday strangled and stuffed inside a suitcase that was dumped in a deep gorge in Kompong Speu province, police said.

Police determined that the man, identified by a family member as Pov Samarth, 28, had been dead for three to four days before his body was found near National Road 4 in Phnom Sruoch district.

“We don’t have detailed information yet. We only know that he was killed,” said Keo Pisey, Kompong Speu provincial police chief.

Pov Samarth appears to have been beaten in the face and strangled with a thin cable, Keo Pisey said.

Sok Khemarin, provincial police deputy chief, said that the man may have been killed in Phnom Penh and dumped in Kompong Speu province.

“My province is like a dead body dump site,” he said, adding that other bodies have been found in the Phnom Sruoch district gorge in the past.

A family member who spoke on condition of anonymity said that Pov Samarth’s body was cremated Thursday in Phnom Sruoch, and that the remains will be brought to his family home in Kandal province.

Police also found papers belonging to Pov Samarth in Kompong Speu province about 40 km from where his body was found, according to the family member.

No one at Voice of Khmer Krom, whose office is in Phnom Penh, could be reached Thursday.

Thach Setha, president of the Khmer Krom Association, said that Pov Samarth was not involved with his organization and was not a Khmer Krom. “He is a Cambodian living here,” he said.

Um Sarin, president of the Cam­bodian Association for the Pro­tection of Journalists, said that his organization has issued a statement calling for a thorough investigation into the killing.

Theing Vanarong, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of In­formation, said that police informed the ministry on Wednes­day that a journalist had been found dead. The ministry will send flowers for the funeral, he said.

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