A District Forestry Administration deputy chief in Oddar Meanchey province has been summonsed for questioning over the death of an alleged illegal logger, after his mother accused forestry workers of murdering him, officials said yesterday.
Ngoun Thirith, a military police commander in Anlong Veng district, said Leuk Socheata, FA’s district deputy chief, had been summonsed by police in relation to a high-speed chase that led to the man’s death.
Koy Kanya, the provincial court prosecutor, also said he was investigating the incident following a complaint from grief-stricken mother Heng Sunny, 60, last week.
“The court is investigating the case,” Kanya said, without divulging the victim’s name.
In the complaint, Sunny says her son was transporting illegally cut rosewood when forestry officials noticed his car and gave chase, Kanya added. Sunny also alleges four officials fired shots at her son’s car, forcing him into a fatal accident.
Local media outlets, how-ever, quote Sunny as having said forestry officials beat her son to death following the crash with the very luxury timber he was transporting.
She could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The man’s death occurred at 5:30am on May 3, Anglong Veng commune chief Vong Sopheak said.
Police had determined that the man had been transporting rosewood and was shot at four times. At least one bullet had hit one of the car’s tyres, causing it to overturn, he added.
“After checking the body, the authorities confirmed the suspect died of a broken neck as the result of a road accident,” Sopheak said.
Thirith, who visited the scene, said that according to villagers, four shots had been fired before the car ran off the road.
“We found no further signs of gunfire apart from two rear flat tyres,” he said. “The driver had a broken neck from being thrown from the car.”
Teang Daveth, Forestry Administration director in Oddar Meanchey province, said he knew of the case.
“But I have nothing further to say about the matter,” he said. “It’s in the hands of the court.”
Socheata could not be reached for comment.