US Offers Help in Probe of Journalist’s Slaying

The US Embassy has condemn­ed Friday’s killing of pro-SRP newspaper journalist Khim Sambor and his 21-year-old son, Khat Sarin­pheata, and stated that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation is ready to assist with the case if the government desires.

In a statement issued Monday evening, the US Embassy wrote that it was echoing the appeals of Information Minister Khieu Kan­harith for “all competent authorities to take necessary measures in order to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

“The FBI, through the US Em­bassy, stands ready to provide assistance, if requested by the Cam­bodian government, in investigating the case,” the statement continued.

The embassy added that it was concerned that the attack, in conjunction with Sunday’s acid attack on CPP Secretary of State Ngor Srun, might undermine “citizens’ confidence in their ability to fully participate in the electoral process in safety and security.”

US Embassy spokesman John Johnson said by telephone Mon­day evening that FBI assistance was of­fered in this case because the re­cently opened FBI legal at­tache office at the embassy made it possible to do so. He reiterated that the FBI would only give its assistance if requested by the Cam­bo­dian government.

Municipal police chief Touch Naruth said Monday that police are working hard to determine who killed Khim Sambor and Khat Sarinpheata.

The effort is causing a collective “headache” for police, he said, as they try to determine the identity and motive of the motorbike-riders who shot the two men Friday even­ing near Olympic Stadium.

“Our police are burning both our hands and legs to find out the [gunmen’s identities], but we take time for our investigation,” Touch Naruth said, add­ing that there are no suspects yet.

Khim Sambor, who wrote investigative reports for the SRP-affiliated Moneaksekar Khmer newspaper, is the 12th journalist to be slain in Cam­­bodia since the country’s first democratic election in 1993, according to the Cambodian Center for In­dep­endent Media. None of the cases has been solved, said a statement released by the group Mon­day, urging authorities to make arrests.

The Club of Cambodian Journ­alists, a 200-member organization, also called for swift and strict justice in a statement issued Saturday.

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