Pursat provincial court is expected to issue arrest warrants today for two soldiers suspected of shooting a Funcinpec commune election candidate July 1, Ty Kim Toc, third governor of Pursat, said.
The court is also expected to issue a warrant for a man who allegedly hired them to shoot Seoung Sem.
“We know that both shooters are soldiers,” Ty Kim Toc said. “I can’t tell their names or what division they are from, but the investigation is being carried out.”
He said he could not comment on the third suspect, adding that he was concerned about tipping off other suspects.
Ty Kim Toc said Soeung Sem, 65, is still recovering from his wounds in a Pursat provincial clinic and is in good health.
Soeung Sem, shot under his armpit in his Sampov Meas home, joined Funcinpec in 1993. He has been active in politics in Ko Chum commune since then and is one of 12 Funcinpec candidates chosen for the elections in Koh Chum commune by the party. Though wounded, he is still slated to run in February.
Thun Saray, president of the human rights group Adhoc, said he sent an investigating team to Pursat because Adhoc lacks confidence in the local authorities. “We will do our own investigation. We cannot rely on any police reports,” he said.
Soeung Sem was the second commune election candidate to be shot in recent weeks. The first, Uch Horn of the Sam Rainsy Party, was shot dead June 30 in his Kompong Speu home.
Two suspects arrested Saturday in the Uch Horn shooting have confessed, said Chea Vuth, deputy police chief of Kompong Speu province.
Representatives from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, meanwhile, said they could not comment on their ongoing investigations of the Uch Horn and Seoung Sem shootings. Marlene Alejos, assistant to the special representative for the UNHCHR, said investigation results will be released within a few days.