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Cops cover powerful SUV killer's identity

Cops cover powerful SUV killer's identity

PHNOM Penh authorities remain silent on the identity of the man who slammed his black Cadillac Escalade SUV into a motorbike Sunday night, killing its driver before fleeing.

Bystanders and police said the SUV with license plate 2H-0678 was racing along Sothearos Boulevard at around 11:30 pm when it collided with the motorbike driven by Sam Sabo, a crane operator, tearing off his left arm and left leg.

The crash occurred in front of the Regent Park Hotel, but the Escalade continued to the Ministry of Justice before pulling over with a flat tire.

Hun Chea, nephew of Prime Minister Hun Sen and son of Hun San, the capital's former traffic director, was seen at the broken-down SUV. Scores of witnesses were on hand.

A source close to the family confirmed Hun Chea owns a black Cadillac Escalade SUV. Repeated attempts to contact Hun Chea were unsuccessful.

Numerous traffic police passed the scene without stopping, but the wreck drew the attention of about 20 military police, who removed the license plate from the SUV.

"After about 30 minutes, the number plate was removed by the armed police," said witness Makara, 17. "I heard the police tell the car driver, ‘Don't worry, it wasn't your mistake. It was the motorbike driver's mistake.'"

One military policeman at the scene said, "It is very difficult and complicated because this accident involved a big person. They will hide the story."

Seng Chanthorn, a Phnom Penh traffic police official, said Wednesday the victim's family had agreed to receive US$4,000 from the driver in exchange for a thumb-printed promise not to file a court complaint.

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