Committee Formed To Probe Kampot Shootings

Kampot provincial police have formed a committee comprised of prov­incial officers, Bokor National Park officials and Ministry of In­ter­ior police to investigate the fatal New Year’s Eve gunfight at the top of the national park, police said Mon­day.

The incident occurred on Satur­day night and led to the deaths of a bodyguard to Prime Minister Hun Sen and a Phnom Penh penal po­liceman, who had both been celebrating the New Year.

“We have established the committee to carefully investigate this matter,” said deputy provincial po­lice Chief In Chiva. He said there has been no arrest.

A police report on the incident said that Cheng Chheng, a 34-year-old bodyguard of Hun Sen, and Phnom Penh municipal police official Choung Mala, also 34, were both killed following a sudden dispute about 150 meters down the road from the well-attended New Year’s Eve dance party at the moun­tain’s deserted casino.

Mok Chito, deputy chief of the In­terior Ministry’s penal police de­partment, said the case will be easy to investigate “because we have known all these people.”

“It was a small argument but they created a big case by killing each other,” Mok Chito said. “The men, in fact, knew each other.”

Mok Chito declined to name the suspects in the incident.

Chey Yuthearith, environment chief for Bokor National Park, said that the reckless gun battle was the first deadly altercation in the park.

Stephane Arrii, an organizer of the Bokor rave, said that “alcohol and guns were the problem in this very, very sad happening.”

“We heard gunshots but it’s a com­mon way to express celebration for some people,” Arrii said. “No­body seems to know what happened. Nothing like this has happened before at the New Year’s Eve parties.”

Khieu Sopheak, Ministry of In­terior spokesman, said there has been “no official confirmation” re­garding the incident yet and would not comment further.



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