Kompong Cham provincial police have begun an investigation of the beating death of a Sam Rainsy Party worker, while another party worker missing in the same area has turned up alive.
Sourng Chheang Ly, police chief of Kompong Cham, said he would travel Sunday afternoon to the site of Em Eam’s shallow grave on a Tbong Khmum district rubber plantation.
He planned to stay overnight to investigate the man’s beating death. There are no suspects in the killing, he said, labeling the man’s slaying “a secret killing.”
“We don’t know the motive of the killing yet,” Sourn Chheang Ly said. “In one more week we should know more about the motive.”
Sourn Chheang Ly said UN rights officials asked him to investigate the case personally.
An exhumation of the body showed that the man’s neck had been broken, a party investigator said.
The Sam Rainsy Party has condemned the killing of Em Eam as politically motivated and demanded an investigation. “This has all the signs of another political killing by the ruling party,” Eng Chhay Eang, the party’s Cabinet chief, said Saturday.
Meanwhile, another party worker who had been reported missing and feared dead has been found. A Sam Rainsy Party spokesman said Kompong Cham party workers reported that the man turned up after he had not been seen for about 10 days.
Although details were sketchy Sunday, Pin Bunthoeun, 32, of Veal Vong village in Tbong Khmum district, surfaced after hiding from men “who were going to kill him,” a party spokesman said.
In December, Kong Vanna, a Sam Rainsy loyalist, was killed in the Kang Meas district of Kompong Cham. In September, two bodies were exhumed from shallow graves in Tbong Khmum district, Kompong Cham. The victims were believed to be Funcinpec supporters.
Two people with connections to Funcinpec were killed last week in a district in Prey Veng province.