Police were questioning a 20-year-old woman yesterday after four men on motorbikes shot dead a 43-year-old Frenchman near his home in the capital’s Tuol Kork district.
Franck Mathieu, 43, was murdered on his motorbike while turning onto Street 265 in Teuk La’ak commune about 1:50am yesterday.
“The victim was shot by unknown attackers,” police officer Sin Bunry said. “One bullet struck him in the chest, and he was taken to hospital. It was that [wound] that resulted in death.”
Earlier, Mathieu had argued with the woman, Sok Veasna, who identified herself to police as his girlfriend of seven months, Bunry said.
According to Veasna’s account of events, she had gone out to buy food and had returned to find her boyfriend lying dead on the ground. She has since been detained for questioning.
District police chief Hout Chanyaran said Mathieu had not been robbed – his motorbike, mobile phone and $200 cash had not been taken – and officers were investigating whether the Frenchman had been part of a “love triangle”.
Laurence Bernandi, a spokeswoman for the French Embassy, said the victim had lived in Cambodia for several years.
“The Embassy of France wishes that the police investigation...can quickly result in the arrest and indictment of one or several murderers,” she said.
“[The embassy] reminds that during the last 12 months, six French nationals died in violent circumstances that have still not been clarified,” she said.
In a separate statement issued yesterday, the embassy condemned media outlets that ran “shocking” pictures of Mathieu in the aftermath of the shooting online.
“[The embassy] wishes to remind that other similar photos of French nationals were already published by Cambodian newspapers during recent months.”
The statement describes the publishing of such photos as an infringement of respect for privacy and human dignity: “It reiterates its call to stop this type of publication, [which is] shocking for the families of victims and contrary to quality journalism.”