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Editor's fatal crash sparks controversy

Editor's fatal crash sparks controversy

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.

A

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."

He said

three policeman then flagged down a French car, belonging to the International

committee of the Red Cross, which rushed Mongkul to the hospital.

The

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

front.

"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

stomach.

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