E DITOR-IN-CHIEF of Antarakum newspaper Thou Chham Mongkul died at 7 pm on June
11 after spending 21 hours being treated in Calmette hospital for injuries
sustained when he was struck by a motorcycle the previous evening.
witness of the accident, Chap Chhoan, owner of restaurant number 366 on Monivong
Boulevard, said: "I saw Mongkul crash into a cyclo outside my restaurant at 9:30
pm. He fell off his bike and lay on his stomach unconscious."
three policeman then flagged down a French car, belonging to the International
committee of the Red Cross, which rushed Mongkul to the hospital.
doctor who treated Mongkul in Calmette said he died from a major knock on the
back of the head which cracked his skull.
Staff at Antarakum newspaper
say they suspect foul play may have been involved with his death. A staff member
said: "The injury Mongkul had on the back of his head is not consistent with the
witnesses description of the accident, they said he fell on his
"We suspect someone may have hit Mongkul on the back of the head
after the accident. Staff from this paper have been subject to attacks and
intimidation in the past."
"In March a bomb went off in our office
wounding two staff members, the culprit was never found. In May a group of
policeman came into our office threatening us because of what we said about
them. The paper has a reputation for trying to expose corruption in government
and the police force."
However witnesses of the accident say they saw no
one strike Mongkul on the back of the head and so his injuries could have been
consistent with him first hitting the back of his head and then rolling onto his