Police Searching for Three More Suspects in 1995 Murder Case

Police in Banteay Meanchey province said Thursday they were seeking three more suspects in a 20-year-old murder case after two men were arrested on Tuesday, while a district councilor said the previously unidentified victim was a former village chief in Svay Chek district.

On Tuesday, police arrested Liem Cheat, 50, and Pech Haing, 57, on suspicion of being involved in a premeditated murder committed in November 1995, explaining that the court did not issue a warrant for their arrest until last month.

Though police officials said they did not know the victim’s identity, Ngor Kuok, a Svay Chek district councilor and former district police chief, named him as “Mr. Khuon,” the former chief of Baray Village in Ta Phou commune, who was shot to death in a rice paddy.

“As I remember, 20 years ago Mr. Khuon went fishing far away from the village and he was murdered in a rice field. He was the Baray village chief,” Mr. Kuok said.

“He was shot to death at about 8 or 10 in the morning by a group of gunmen, but no one was arrested at the time,” he said, adding that police later identified five suspects, including Mr. Cheat and Mr. Haing.

“There were many people involved in the case. As I remember, the family of those suspects moved elsewhere. I do not know where they went,” he said.

Phoeung Mang Sing, chief of the provincial police’s serious crimes bureau, said his officers were seeking to arrest three additional suspects in the murder, but that he could not reveal their identities because it could compromise the search.

Police believe one of the suspects lives in Battambang province, and that the two others fled to Thailand, he said. The two suspects arrested Tuesday were still being questioned at the provincial court Thursday, Mr. Mang Sing said.

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