NRP Official Found Dead; Foul Play Suspected

A Norodom Ranariddh Party member was found dead Saturday morning in Kien Svay district’s Banteay Dek commune, Kandal province, after he went around the village to invite NRP members to join a meeting, officials said.

Chan Soveth, a monitor from the local human rights group Adhoc, said Sok Run, a 46-year-old deputy chief of the NRP for Kandal Leu village, left home Friday to invite party members to an NRP meeting, but did not return home.

Sok Run’s body was found near the bamboo fence of a villager’s house about 5:30 am Saturday, he said.

“Somebody killed him,” said Chan Soveth, noting that Sok Run’s nose, ears and eyes were bleeding and most of his body was injured. “We did not reach the conclusion yet whether it was a revenge or political motive.”

Chan Soveth described Sok Run as gentle and friendly with villagers. “He never had a dispute with anyone,” Chan Soveth said.

Chan Soveth said Kandal Leu village used to have many Funcinpec supporters, but when Prince Noro­dom Ranariddh formed a new party, most villagers defected to the NRP. Even so, “there is no political discrimination in the village,” Chan Soveth said.

However, NRP leaders have deemed the death “politically motivated,” said Muth Channtha, NRP spokesman. CPP officials had been using intimidation to encourage Sok Run to defect, he claimed.

Kien Svay District Governor Heng Theam disagreed. They said that an investigation by local authorities revealed that Sok Run’s death was not connected to political motives but rather that he had died from taking a bad fall while drunk, perhaps slipping because of conditions created by rain Friday evening.

“I guaranteed in the name of the district governor that [Sok Run’s] death was not politically motivated like NRP accused us,” Heng Theam said.

Related Stories

Latest News