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Man arrested for giving gun to ill relative

Police in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district have arrested a 36-year-old Cambodian suspected of having given a pistol he owned to his ill German brother-in-law so he could commit suicide.

Wolfgang Schmidtberg, 54, shot himself in the head in Sek Sok Hospital in the early hours of yesterday morning, Sen Sok district penal police officer Seng Sokheng said.

The German national was suffering from serious colon cancer and often received treatment at the hospital, Sokheng said. Hospital staff found his body at about 4:30am. Schmidtberg’s brother-in-law, Khuon Puthivong, was arrested later in the morning on suspicion that he provided the weapon used.

“He is accused of allegedly using a weapon without authorisation,” Sen Sok district police chief Mak Hong said.

“He gave his gun to his older brother-in-law so he could commit suicide in his hospital bed.”

It is not know if Puthivong had a legal right to own a gun.

Hospital representatives could not be reached yesterday. Schmidtberg’s body has been handed over to the German Embassy and his wife so a funeral can be arranged.

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