Russia Arrests Sihanoukville Murder Suspect

A Russian man suspected of killing a compatriot in Sihanoukville in July has been arrested in Russia and charged with murder, according to a November 5 statement released by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Karelia.

The statement, published in Russian on the committee’s website, states that the suspect, described only as a 28-year-old native of the city of Petrozavodsk, the capital of Karelia, has been charged with the murder of Denis Goncharov, 28, under the Russian Criminal Code.

If convicted, he will face between six and 15 years in prison.

The statement further notes that the defendant was arrested in St. Petersburg and sent to Karelia, which is where the family of Denis Goncharov had filed a complaint over his murder.

Russian news website Mk.ru reported last week that the suspect is a graduate of Petrozavodsk University who has previous unspecified criminal convictions in Russia, and that his case will be heard by the Karelia Supreme Court on December 16.

In July, Cambodian police investigating the murder described Denis Goncharov as an I.T. engineer visiting Cambodia with his wife, Yuan Cuixiang. She told police that on Saturday July 18 he had left on a motorbike driven by a fellow Russian to go drinking.

His body was discovered four days later near O’Tres beach with his throat slit and 30 stab wounds in his back. His mobile phone was missing but his jewelry and cash were not. At the time, deputy provincial police chief Kol Phally said the murder was the result of a “personal dispute.”

Police claimed that the suspect fled to Phnom Penh, and that they had alerted Interpol, but refused to name him for fear of hindering the investigation.

Mr. Phally, who led the investigation, confirmed Wednesday that he was aware of the arrest, and that his department had shared information with Russian police through the embassy in Phnom Penh. He said police were recently informed that the suspect flew out of Phnom Penh International Airport at 8:30 a.m. on July 19.

(Additional reporting by Saing Soenthrith)

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