Investigation of Alleged Torture Continues

Kratie’s provincial court prosecutor said Thursday that witnesses interviewed in the investigation into the suspicious death of an RCAF soldier in Kratie pro­vince said they saw the soldier tortured by a military official and the official’s brother-in-law.

Provincial Prosecutor Penh Vibol said witnesses have named an RCAF battalion officer and his brother-in-law, a battalion soldier, in the events leading to the Aug 18 death of Ny Sok Rorn.

“It is still unofficial information, and we are continuing to investigate more,” Penh Vibol said, ad­ding that no thumbprinted witness statements had been taken.

A provincial official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, however, said there are even more witnesses who can tie the of­ficer to Ny Sok Rorn’s death.

“We have more of them who can say they saw torture, but they dare not go public,” the official said. “If they dare to be witnesses, we will have a chance to arrest these two military officers.”

The officer could not be reached by telephone Thursday.

According to human rights groups, a Battalion 204 officer picked up Ny Sok Rorn, 35, from his Snuol district home July 28 and took him to the army base.

On Aug 10, two soldiers dumped a battered and traumatized Ny Sok Rorn in a rice field near his home. He died eight days later. An autopsy revealed severe contusions and burns all over his body. RCAF officials first said the injuries were caused by a motorbike accident, but later claimed he fell from a bridge.

At the court’s request, provincial police will interview witnesses in the victim’s home village of Tnort in Thmei commune this weekend, deputy provincial po­lice chief Choub Chinda said.

Chan Soveth, investigator for the rights group Adhoc, said that villagers ap­peared intimidated and were reluctant to talk during Adhoc’s visit early this week.

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