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FBI to help in case of slain journalist

CAMBODIAN authorities have accepted the US Embassy’s offer to provide

Federal Bureau of Investigation assistance for the probe into the July

11 drive-by shooting of a journalist and his son near Phnom Penh’s

Olympic Stadium.

Khim Sambo, 47, regularly contributed articles to the

opposition-aligned newspaper, Moneaksekar Khmer, despite remaining

politically independent himself. His assassination was condemned by

journalism and rights advocates, and was held up by some as an example

of the dangers faced by government critics in Cambodia.

Spokesmen for both the US Embassy and the Cambodian government have

welcomed the impending cooperation, although the Cambodians for weeks

appeared reluctant to accept the help.

Several senior security officials, speaking to the Post, made clear

they did not want the FBI involved in a Cambodian investigation.

“We have enough ability to handle this on our own,” one police officer said on condition of anonymity.

But government spokesman Khieu Kanharith maintained that the FBI’s offer had always been under consideration.

“We never rejected the assistance. It is good to collaborate with the

FBI, so when we find the killers, the opposition party will not claim

they are fake.”

Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak and other security officials could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, the victims’ family welcomed the collaboration.

“We are still living in doubt over my brother’s assassination,” said

Khem Laurent. “If the killers are arrested, we will know what was

behind the murders.”

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