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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Belgian to be questioned in murder case

Belgian to be questioned in murder case

Kampot suspect

The Belgian national arrested in connection with the death of 25-year-old French tourist Ophélie Begnis in Kampot is expected to go before an investigating judge again on June 6, his lawyer said yesterday.

Former guesthouse owner Oliver Van Den Bogaert, 41, was charged last month with “murder preceded or followed by torture, cruelty or rape”, following the discovery of the Frenchwoman’s body in an estuary in February.

A previous court appearance for Van Den Bogaert, who is in pre-trial detention, was delayed because an interpreter could not be found.

“Now we have an interpreter, and we have found six to seven witnesses that can help prove his innocence,” said Khun Sophal, the Belgian’s lawyer. He added that questioning could take months before the case could go to trial.

The investigating judge on the case, Hong Sokun Vattanak, said the court also had identified more witnesses it wants to interview.

Kampot deputy police chief In Chiva said that he is still chasing down possible leads for additional suspects, including one person who claims to have seen a foreigner with a “fair complexion and  pointed nose” walking with the victim not long before she died.

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