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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Probe into murder of journalist Hang Serei Oudom closes

Probe into murder of journalist Hang Serei Oudom closes

A judge in Ratanakkiri province has finished the investigation into the murder case of Virakchun Khmer newspaper reporter Hang Serei Oudom.

Though two people have been charged with the crime, they maintain their innocence and plaintiffs in the case suggest more suspects are involved.

A letter from the investigating judge, Loch Lao, was sent to human rights group Adhoc on Tuesday confirming the conclusion of the probe.

Oudom, 44, was found bludgeoned to death in the boot of his car, which was parked in a cashew plantation in O’Chum district on September 11.

Authorities ultimately charged a provincial military police officer, An Bunheng, and his wife, Sim Vy, with premeditated murder.

Oudom had published several articles on illegal logging, which is rife in the area, with the final one pointing the finger at a member of the provincial military police, who was subsequently brought in for questioning and later released.

Hok Phalla, the lawyer for Oudom’s widow, Im Chanty, told the Post that he has to examine the case in order to see why others weren’t charged.

“Closing with only two suspects, I cannot say that it is satisfactory or unsatisfactory. It will be satisfactory if my client receives justice,” he said.

Vy told the court that she was not involved because she was in her room at night and had heard voices of people who entered and left her home, where the murder is thought to have taken place, according to the victim’s lawyer.

The lawyer expects that the court will hear the case soon, though no date was set.

Chanty said she wanted to keep her comments about the case largely confined to the courtroom, though she reiterated her belief that other suspects are roaming free.

She previously said that her husband had many friends in the police forces and among military officials, and he often went out to socialise with them.

Tep Monicheath, the defence lawyer for the two accused, said that he stopped seeking bail from the court and would wait for the hearing to defend his clients.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chhay Channyda at channyda.chhay@phnompenhpost.com

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