Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Details don’t add up in Svay Rieng ‘suicide’

Details don’t add up in Svay Rieng ‘suicide’

Details don’t add up in Svay Rieng ‘suicide’

Near the river where the drowned body of a Prey Veng provincial police officer was discovered on Tuesday, investigators found a half-empty bottle of wine, some cigarettes and a suicide note written in Vietnamese.

But according to family members, Lieutenant Colonel Ker Bunthouen, who lived in Svay Rieng province, rarely drank, did not smoke and couldn’t speak Vietnamese.

“These suspicious details have led our team to think this may have been a murder,” said San Chanthoeurn, a police officer in Svay Rieng’s Romeas Hek district. “We decided to investigate this case further.”

Fishermen found Bunthouen’s body in a river in Kampong Trach commune, a fishing community in Svay Rieng’s Romeas Hek district, Chanthoeurn said. He was chained to a motorbike.

Cheay Savath, Bunthouen’s wife, had not seen her husband since he moved out of their home to his sister’s house following an argument at the end of September, she told the Post yesterday.

While unsure of his activities during his time away, evidence found at the scene does not add up, Savath said.

“My husband was illiterate in Vietnamese,” Savath said. “He had very little alcohol, and I never saw him smoke.”

Bunthouen committing suicide seems too far-fetched, said Ker Sophanna, his 18-year-old son, who is calling for the police to investigate the case as a murder.

In addition to information from Bunthouen’s family, police found in his pocket the keys to the motorbike that weighed him down, suggesting to them that the bike was not running when it submerged under water, Chanthoeurn said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Protests planned in New York as Hun Sen to attend the UN

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will speak at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week. But US-based supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) plan to throw eggs at his car as part of a series of protests to coincide

  • CPP: ‘Behave or Sokha suffers’

    The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman warned Kem Monovithya on Thursday that her attempt to damage “national reputation and prestige” would lead to her father, Kem Sokha, receiving even harsher punishment. Sok Eysan issued the warning as Monovithya, who is the court dissolved

  • News Analysis: Defiance can last for how long?

    The Cambodian government has so far stood strong in the face of mounting international pressure over its treatment of critics, but analysts, diplomats and ruling party officials now wonder how long the defiance can last. The European Union has led the firestorm of criticism, threatening

  • ‘Freedom fighters’ or ‘foreign puppets?’

    Former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) official Meach Sovannara was joined by supporters at a rally in California on Saturday, where a US lawmaker hailed members of the outlawed opposition as “great freedom fighters”. However, a Cambodian government spokesman said such a phrase belonged to