Hunt On for Military Police Captain Who Killed NGO Worker

Military police say they have launched an investigation into the murder of a staffer from legal aid NGO International Bridges to Justice (IBJ), who was shot in the neck and killed by one of their own military police officers in Kandal province’s Takhmao City on Friday night.

The victim, IBJ provincial investigator Houn Bunnith, 33, had attended a party with military police captain Reab Bun Song, 30, at the officer’s snooker hall in Takhmao City.

A witness told police that Houn Bunnith, a father of three, allegedly accused the military police officer of operating an illegal gambling business from his snooker hall. Shortly after, Houn Bunnith was shot in the throat and critically injured before being left in front of a nearby medical clinic by the officer, who has since fled.

“At first, we were not aware that it involved a military police officer,” Kandal deputy provincial military police commander Touch Inan said Wednesday.

“We have started the investigation, and we will work according to the law and without any tolerance if we find that this military police officer was the real suspect,” Mr. Inan said, adding that there are few clues as to where Mr. Bun Song has fled though his parents are originally from southern Vietnam.

Mr. Inan said Mr. Bun Song’s photo had been sent to border po­lice. “I knew the suspect for a short time at work,” Mr. Inan added. “At work, he was active. He was also friendly and made good friends with other colleagues.”

On Tuesday, IBJ country manager and Houn Bunnith’s father-in-law, Ouk Vandeth, said he had heard that the suspect fled to Vietnam.

According to Mr. Vandeth, the suspect had also been a friend to his slain son-in-law.

“Yes, he was a friend, but I’m not sure if we can say he was a good friend or not, because did he ask Bunnith over to kill him or for drinking?”

Mr. Vandeth said his daughter believes the military police officer was involved in a plot to kill her husband.

“She thinks that the suspect had a plan to kill her husband. She never met him, but she knew about him through her husband,” Mr. Vandeth added.

On Tuesday, the Geneva-based IBJ called for a “full and proper investigation” into the killing.

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