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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mystery diplomats kill Kampong Cham child

Mystery diplomats kill Kampong Cham child

THE parents of a child killed in a traffic accident along National Route 6A in Kampong

Cham on October 26 are protesting against police secrecy and intimidation about the

identity of a "diplomatic delegation" whose car they say killed their son.

"I want to know who killed my son," said the victim's mother, 32-year-old

Pheap Phy, in her tiny, floodwater-encircled palm hut in Anlong Chrey, Battheay District.

"After the accident I asked to meet the diplomats involved, but the police refused.

Now we've been warned by police not to talk about this case or make any complaints."

Phy's family tragedy began at 8:30am on October 26 when, according to witnesses'

accounts, six-year-old Pheap Dina was hit by a northbound green Landcruiser attached

to a six-vehicle "diplomatic delegation" traveling toward Kampong Cham

city.

The impact of the collision threw the boy 27 meters from the edge of the road where

he'd been sitting. Witnesses say that the convoy did not pause following the collision.

Eun Sophal, a soldier stationed at Spean Trosh, the scene of the accident, made the

initial report about the accident and was adamant that the cars involved were official

embassy vehicles.

"A [diplomatic] delegation convoy hit the boy ... I don't know which delegation,

but they went to Kampong Cham and returned to Phnom Penh the same day."

Sophal's version of events match those of Anlong Chrey resident Srun Phoeun.

"The embassy delegation hit the boy and continued on to Battheay district police

[station] because they said they were in a hurry to go to the Vietnam-Kampong Cham

border," Phoeun said, adding that district officials told him the diplomats

spoke Chinese.

A Chinese Embassy spokesperson contacted by the Post denied any knowledge of the

incident.

According to Dina's mother, within 30 minutes after the accident, police arrived

on the scene with compensation provided by the delegation.

"The police told me it was an official convoy in a hurry to go to Vietnam,"

Phy said. "We were given $20 and 50 kilos of rice as compensation for my son's

death."

However, Battheay District police are extremely reluctant to discuss the case of

Dina's death, and deny any involvement of diplomatic personnel in the incident, saying

instead that the car involved was a Nissan taxi pickup.

Battheay District Police Inspector Uth Leang told the Post that contrary to eyewitness

reports, Dina had run into the path of the vehicle and that the vehicle immediately

stopped after the accident.

When asked for details of the vehicle involved and its driver, Leang got agitated

and said no records of the accident existed.

Lim Pheap, Dina's father, says that events after the accident prove both the involvement

of diplomatic personnel and their responsibility for the occurrence of the accident.

"Two days [after the accident] we received another 300,000 riel in compensation,

and three or four days after that an additional $400 along with noodles and canned

fish," Pheap said.

"The police say I should feel lucky because if Dina hadn't been killed by a

diplomatic delegation, we wouldn't get any money at all."

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