Grenade Attack on Deputy Chief Prosecutor’s Home

A grenade was thrown into the home of Kompong Thom Provincial Court deputy prosecutor Say Nora on Saturday night but the official escaped injury as he was not at home when the device exploded, police said.

Provincial police chief Phan Sopheng said the attack was an attempt by illegal luxury wood smugglers to murder Mr. Nora after his recent efforts to crack down on the illicit trade in the province.

The efforts last week led to a series of seizures of dozens of cubic meters of rosewood and other luxury woods.

“This was a direct attempt to kill the deputy prosecutor to obstruct his mission because their interests in luxury wood smuggling is threatened, although the grenade exploded in his rental house when he was not at home,” he said.

Mr. Nora was only appointed deputy prosecutor three weeks ago, replacing Pen Sarath. In that time, he has led a team of security forces carrying out multiple successful missions on suspected smugglers, according to Brigadier General Hang Thol, the provincial military police commander.

“We still cannot conclude whether this is a case of revenge or a personal dispute because the deputy prosecutor has only been working here for about a month,” he said, adding that military police were working with the Cambodian Mine Action Center to analyze the grenade handle and shrapnel.

Mr. Nora said he was certain Sunday that the attempt on his life was a response to the 11 seizures of illegal luxury wood that he said he helped carry out over the past few weeks in Santuk district and Stung Sen City.

“This grenade attack was an attempt to take my life,” he said.

“I have reported the attack last night…and [Justice] Minister Ang Vong Vatha is focusing on this case and the inspectors are investigating the matter.”

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