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New investigation into whitening-cream death

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Kampong Speu Provincial Court has ordered a reinvestigation into the case of a 19-year-old wedding store owner who sold a banned skin-whitening cream that ultimately killed one of her customers in September, court officials said yesterday.

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Ive Borin, Kampong Speu provincial judge, said that he did not announce a verdict against the skin-whitening cream suspect, planned for last Friday, because the court needed the cream’s laboratory report first.

“We need the results of the cream examination from the provincial exam committee in order to make sure that the cream did cause the user to die,” he said, adding that the suspect is still detained at the provincial prison.

Court officials said that they sent a letter to the committee to ask them to give the court advice on whether the skin-whitening cream can cause users to die or not.

Ive Borin said he needs the result as soon as possible because they cannot detain the suspect longer if the cream did not cause the user to die and the court will announce the verdict next month.

Kampong Speu provincial Examination Committee officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.

In September, bride-to-be Mam Seak, 21, and her 19-year-old sister Mam Srey Oun began using the skin-whitening cream at about 1pm on a Thursday.

Six hours later, they began having difficulty breathing and hearing.

By Friday morning, Mam Seak was dead.

The suspect, Lor Lyhour, who owns a wedding store in Oral district’s Trapaing Chhor commune, was arrested the same day Mam Seak died, and was charged with intentional murder and detained in the provincial prison.

Mam Seak became the second bride to die after using the Vietnamese product – branded Kim Lot Lanh Thom Cao Cap.

The product has been banned in both Cambodia and Thailand after another bride-to-be died in March 2010.

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