Policeman Suspected of Funcinpec Murder

The killer of a Funcinpec lieutenant colonel in early March was a well-known district-level policeman, according to a senior hu­man rights official.

And the murder of a Funcinpec security official late last month most likely was politically motivated, as he was returning from a party meeting at the time, a second rights official said Tuesday.

The two killings, which were similar in nature, are just two cases being actively investigated by human rights workers. In each case, the men were killed while returning home on their motorbikes. In each case, government officials and police have called the incidents robbery-murders.

A top UN human rights official announced Monday that 50 killings believed political have been confirmed in Cambodia since August. That brings the total killings that the UN says are apparently politically motivated to at least 90 since the factional fighting in July.

Mom Sameth, a Funcinpec lieutenant general in the logistics department at the Defense Min­istry, was shot dead March 3 in the Kien Svay district of Kandal province.

Chea Vutha, described as a lieutenant colonel formerly working at the Pich Nil Jungle Train­ing Center in Kompong Speu province, was killed March 28 while returning from a Funcinpec meeting, a human rights official confirmed Tuesday.

Human rights workers also are investigating apparent disappearances.

On March 2, General Keo So­van was shot at in an assassination attempt while driving his car. As of late last month, a rights official said Keo Sovan had disappeared—apparently out of fear for his life.

In mid-February, a district-level Funcinpec police investigator in a southeastern province was am­bushed and shot in the back while driving home from work, rights workers say. He survived  but as of late last month had disappeared.

Rights workers and party officials have requested that the names and villages of targets of intimidation such as the police investigator not be used for fear of further intimidation.

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