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Khmer Krom group calls for probe

A Khmer Krom association yesterday submitted a letter to the Ministry of Interior urging investigation of the killing of Sok Thoeun, believed to have been murdered in February 2007.

Sok Thoeun, 32, was found dead with his throat cut at the Tronom Jring temple in Kandal province following his participation in a protest at the Vietnamese embassy in Phnom Penh.

Thach Sitha, president of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Association, said yesterday that nine members of the group had signed the letter to seek justice for the deceased.

He said that several questions have yet to be answered in connection with the death of Sok Thoeun, adding that the body was cremated quickly by local authorities, and family members and fellow monks were denied permission to conduct a proper funeral.

“Four years after [his death], there is still no justice for the victim. Therefore, we would like to encourage the Ministry of Interior to conduct a thorough investigation,” Thack Sitha said.

Khieu Sopheak, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, said yesterday that he had not seen the group’s letter but that the ministry had never closed the investigation of the monk’s killing.

“The investigation … has remained ongoing, and we have never closed it before bringing justice to the victim,” he said. “I will send a letter again to the National Police and encourage them to investigate as soon as I receive the letter from the Khmer Krom group.”

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