Judge Orders Interior Ministry to Reinvestigate Vallier Case

The Kompong Speu Provincial Court has ordered the Ministry of Interior to reopen its investigation into the death of a Frenchman and his four children, a judge said Thursday.

Cambodian authorities initially concluded that Laurent Vallier, 42, murdered his children, aged 2 to 9, and then took his own life after their bodies were discovered near the family’s home in Chbar Mon City in January 2012.

Three months after disappearing, the family was found in a submerged car in a pond. Laurent Vallier’s family in France suspected a land dispute with his late Cambodian wife’s relatives may have led to his death.

The family filed a complaint with the French courts and a team of French forensic investigators traveled to Cambodia in March 2013.

The team’s 300-page report, which concluded that Laurent Vallier was murdered, was sent to Cambodian officials last month.

With a copy of the report’s conclusion finally translated from French into Khmer, Investigating Judge Chhim Ritthy said Thursday that he ordered the Ministry of Interior to reopen the investigation.

“I have asked the Ministry of Interior to question the suspects,” he said. “I’ve sent the summonses to the Ministry of Interior to act on behalf of the court and investigate and talk to those who are suspects in the case.”

Judge Ritthy declined to give the names or number of suspects he has ordered authorities to investigate as it would jeopardize the case.

“They are investigating the case accordingly,” he said.

Mok Chito, head of the National Police’s central judicial department, declined to comment on the case.

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