Sister of Slain Actress Says No Official Involved

The sister of slain actress Piseth Peaklica said Wednesday her sister was not ordered to divorce husband Khay Praseth and there was no truth to rumors the actress had a relationship with a senior government official.

“She [Piseth Peaklica] decided to divorce by herself—nobody, no government official or any general forced her to divorce….I lived with her every day. She was not threatened by any madame or excellency,” said Sao Peana.

Speaking to reporters at her house almost a month after she witnessed the murder of sister Piseth Peaklica on a busy Phnom Penh street, Sao Peana contradicted ex-husband Khay Pra­seth’s recent allegations, and widespread media speculation that the couple’s split and the subsequent murder involved a jealous high-ranking official.

Khay Praseth said late last month on TV3 that his wife Piseth Peaklica was “threatened” and he was issued an “ultimatum” involving death or jail if he did not divorce her and leave Cambodia. Khay Praseth did not name who made the threat.

Khay Praseth left Phnom Penh Monday for Australia to obtain a visa for his son, his brother Khay Prasar said Tuesday.

Also contradicting earlier statements by husband Each Chan­dara that Piseth Peaklica’s family had no confidence the police would arrest the killers, Sao Peana said, “I still trust the government, especially I believe the police will arrest the killers.”

At the news conference Wed­nes­day, Each Chandara, who is one of Sam Rainsy’s personal bodyguards, downplayed being beaten by police shortly after the killing of Piseth Peaklica.

“I have nothing to tell the po­lice or newspapers or government. So I don’t think I was being threatened. It was a mistake,” Each Chandara said.

Commenting on the apparent change in the family’s position, Sam Rainsy parliamentarian Son Chhay said Wednesday that “pressure” may have been put on the family to keep them quiet.

“When we cannot find criminals to prosecute sometimes we have to obey the criminals’ order otherwise we face more trouble,” Son Chhay said.

Son Chhay repeated calls by fellow opposition party member Cheam Channy that Prime Minister Hun Sen and co-Mini­sters of the Interior You Hockry and Sar Kheng resign if the killers of Piseth Peaklica are not found.

Teng Savong, deputy general of the national police and head of the investigation, said Wednes­day he was still working hard to find the killers.

“I never forget my duty to find the killers….But I cannot tell what I have found because it is police business.”

Sao Peana quashed rumors Wednesday that she had left Cambodia to escape the murder investigation.

According to Sao Peana, she and Each Chandara brought their 7-year-old daughter Saren Sereiman to Bangkok July 22 to have tests done on a bullet that is still lodged in her back after the July 6 attack.

“The doctors said she would have one chance in a hundred if they operated now….They want to wait until she is older when it will be safer,” Each Chandara said Wednesday.

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