Court Releases Suspect in Slaying of Funcinpec Activist in Kompong Cham

The Kompong Cham Provin­cial Court on Thursday freed a man accused of shooting to death a Funcinpec activist, the widow of a slain Funcinpec commune election candidate.

The court freed Long Khoeun, who was accused of killing Sok Chan in January. Sok Chan’s husband, Sam Saran, was shot dead on Aug 21, 2002. The couple’s daughter, 19-year-old Khon Van­dy, was shot and killed with her father on the same day.

The court never formally charged Long Khoeun with the killing.

“After we spent many months investigating this man, we called him to trial” and released him, said Tith Sothy, court director of the Kompong Cham provincial court, on Thursday. He added that Long Khoeun is the third suspect that police have arrested in the killing. The others have also been released.

“We freed [all suspects] be­cause we do not have evidence to charge them,” Tith Sothy said.

Sok Chan was killed on Jan 14 in Kroich commune, Prey Chhor district, after two unidentified men set fire to her house and then gunned her down when she fled the burning house.

Thav Kimlong, the Funcinpec deputy governor of Kompong Cham, criticized the courts and the police for not yet solving the three killings.

“The courts and other authorities are not smart enough to find justice for the victims—the police and courts do injustice for the victims,” he said Thursday.

Tith Sothy disagreed, saying that the courts and police are continuing the investigation into the killings.

“We can’t close this case, be­cause it is still a priority,” Tith Sothy said. “This is a horrible case for Kompong Cham.”

So far, the authorities have arrested and released Soeun Ket, Chen Chamroeun and Long Khoeun in their investigation, Tith Sothy said.

He said that the investigating judge for the court has identified two suspects in the killing who were allegedly seen holding wea­p­­­ons at the location where Sok Chan was killed.

He did not identify the suspects.


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