French Owner Of Hotel in Kandal Slain Owner

Cambodian police are investi­gat­ing the killing on Monday night of the owner of Palm Resort res­taurant and hotel in Kandal prov­ince’s Kien Svay district, po­lice and hotel employees said Tues­day.

Tom Vay, deputy Kandal police chief, said 49-year-old Alan Rom­agnoli, a French national, was kil­led with a meat cleaver.

“The victim was chopped four different places in the face, in the neck and his jaw. This is a case of assassination,” he said.

Romagnoli’s body was found in his bedroom at the resort by staff at around 11 am on Tues­­day, a wait­er who identified him­self as Vy said by phone.

When guests at the resort started to order breakfast and Romag­noli had not yet appeared, staff at the resort tried to contact him.

The employees called Romag­noli’s mobile phone but decided to break in the door after twenty un­answered calls, Vy said, adding that the victim was found with a pillow covering his face.

Romagnoli’s body was later taken to the morgue at Calmette Hospital by representatives from the French Embassy, Vy said.

According to Tom Vay, only two Cambodian security guards working at the resort and the 20-year-old son of one of Romag­noli’s friends were present at the resort at the time he was killed.

“We are investigating this. It may involve the victim’s friend’s son because the Palm Resort had no other guests last night,” Tom Vay said Tuesday.

Tom Vay also added that the man—who is also a French na­tion­al—was handed over by Cam­bodian police to the French Em­bassy.

An old friend of Romagnoli—who did not want to be named—said Romagnoli bought the Palm Re­sort one year ago. The friend also said that Romagnoli did not have any family.

French police based inside the em­bassy are working together with local authorities on the case, he said.

An official at the French Em­bassy declined comment.

            (Additional reporting by Lasse Karner)



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