Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - French query Vallier in-laws

French query Vallier in-laws

French query Vallier in-laws

murder
Police investigate the vehicle in which French national Laurent Vallier and his four children were found dead in Kampong Speu province in 2012. Photograph: Derek Stout/Phnom Penh Post

French and Cambodian investigators yesterday questioned relatives of a Frenchman who, along with his four children, died last year in mysterious circumstances, a provincial official said.

According to Kampong Speu provincial court investigating judge Chhim Rithy, the father-in-law, mother-in-law and sister-in-law of Laurent Vallier, along with an unknown fourth witness, were brought to the French Embassy yesterday to be questioned by French investigating judges, one day after the trio was questioned by provincial police. Earlier this year, the three were questioned at the provincial court after applying for the titles to two pieces of land belonging to Vallier and their daughter, who died in 2010 during childbirth.

In January 2012, the bodies of Vallier and his four young children were found submerged in a pond behind the family’s home – some four months after they were last seen. A preliminary report by Cambodian authorities ruled it to be a murder-suicide, though the case remained under investigation by the French.  A team of French investigators arrived in Cambodia on Sunday and began their work in Kampong Speu on Tuesday.

Rithy said that more than 20 witnesses including village and commune chiefs, neighbours, and the children’s’ teachers would be questioned over the course of the next two weeks.

“To date, we have completed more than 50 per cent [of the list]. We conducted investigations of the people living in that area, but the French side wants to go through the investigation again,” he said. “The [French] technicians are investigating his home, while investigating judges are working at the embassy,” said Rithy.

Questions to the French Embassy went unanswered.

Kim Bunheang, a former neighbour of Vallier’s, said he and two others had been asked to appear at the provincial police headquarters on Friday for questioning.

“I will say what I remember and what I have said before. I will tell French judges how after the death of his wife, he also asked for my daughter’s hand in marriage, but due to legal problems, he could not marry her,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Guards protest dismissals, reject claims of sharing naked photos of child

    Some 20 former security guards at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh protested on Tuesday against their dismissal. They accused their employers of falsely claiming they had viewed and shared child pornography from their mobile phones as grounds for their termination. In total, 32 personnel were dismissed

  • Bun Heang mocks US, threatens its citizens in scathing open letter

    After being hit with sanctions from the US Department of Treasury, Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang said he would retaliate against any US national who does not respect his country’s sovereignty, has ambitions to invade Cambodia or incites “traitors” in the Kingdom to do

  • Funcinpec urges probe into deadly Preah Sihanouk accident

    THE Funcinpec party has urged the government, especially the Ministry of Interior, to investigate the traffic accident in Preah Sihanouk province which left Prince Norodom Ranariddh badly injured and his wife Ouk Phalla dead. Funcinpec Vice President You Hokry told reporters at Botum Votey pagoda,