Three local journalists have been charged with fraud in Ratanakkiri province after they allegedly extorted money from the family of a man suspected of having murdered a traditional medicine man.
Banlung town police officials arrested the journalists, along with a fourth man who was not charged and was later released, on Saturday morning after the suspect’s family had filed a complaint.
Banlung town police chief Em Vun said the journalists had been covering the murder on December 16 of a traditional healer in Yeakloam district.
The man was an ethnic Tumpoun who police believe may have been targeted because of his alleged prowess in sorcery.
When the journalists learned there was a suspect in the case, they went to the suspect’s family and asked for $200 in exchange for “helping” to resolve the matter, Vun said.
He added that the journalists worked for the Phnom Penh-based newspapers Nokorwat, 7 Makara Victory and Cheat Sachak.
Police did not name the suspect, because he had not been arrested or charged.
Om Vuthy, the publisher of Cheat Sachak, said he did not believe his staff had extorted money from sources.
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