Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Official’s family stricken by ‘murder-suicide’

Official’s family stricken by ‘murder-suicide’

A funeral is prepared at Daun Penh’s Srah Chork pagoda yesterday for the late police official Khieu Konel, who allegedly committed suicide after killing his wife on Sunday night in Phnom Penh.
A funeral is prepared at Daun Penh’s Srah Chork pagoda yesterday for the late police official Khieu Konel, who allegedly committed suicide after killing his wife on Sunday night in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

Official’s family stricken by ‘murder-suicide’

Phnom Penh’s head police inspector ordered an investigation yesterday into a suspected murder-suicide involving a well-connected police official – an assistant to the capital’s top cop, and the nephew of Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak – and his wife on Sunday.

Investigators said they believe Khieu Konel, 33, shot and killed his wife, Yeng Leakhena, 40, before turning the gun on himself at their home in Meanchey district’s Boeung Tompun commune.

Song Ly, deputy commissioner of the Phnom Penh Municipal Police, said that authorities believe the motive was marital strife, but are investigating whether other motives may have been at play.

“We have not been able to come to a clear conclusion,” Ly said. “We are launching a deeper investigation. We will try our best to figure it out.”

An official walks towards Leakhena Yeng's funeral yesterday in Meanchey district's Boeung Tompun commune. Yengwas shot by her husband, police official Khieu Koenl, on Sunday night.
An official walks towards Leakhena Yeng's funeral yesterday in Meanchey district's Boeung Tompun commune. Yengwas shot by her husband, police official Khieu Koenl, on Sunday night. Hong Menea

Konel, who was the assistant to Phnom Penh Police Commissioner Choun Sovann, is the son of Khieu Kola, a veteran journalist, and the nephew of General Khieu Sopheak, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior. Konel’s sister, Khieu Sansana, is a popular TV presenter at CTN and MYTV.

Family members of Khieu and Leakhena held separate funerals yesterday. Many expressed shock about the deaths but declined to speak further.

The couple often posted loving photos and messages about each other on their social media profiles and appear to have been married just three months.

Kola, Konel’s father, declined to comment beyond saying that his family was suffering badly.

“I lost my only son and one of [the government’s] top officials,” he said.

Sopheak, the ministry spokesman, said that he was saddened by his nephew’s death and confirmed that police were investigating. Sopheak will preside over the cremation of Khieu’s body at Wat Srah Chak on Wednesday.

Meanchey District Police Chief Teng Sino and National Police spokesman Kirth Chantharith declined to give further details.

Ly said police had yet to locate any witnesses, but a man who identified himself as Leakhena’s younger brother said his aunt was in the couple’s home at the time of the shooting, and overheard the couple arguing briefly before she heard shots ring out.

In a statement, Konel’s sister asked reporters to let police investigate before jumping to conclusions. “I love him so much,” Khieu Sansana wrote. “And I don’t know how [I will] cope with this. RIP my dearest brother.”

In this article the name of the Khieu Konel's sister was misstated. Her correct name is Khieu Sansana. The Post apologises for the error.

MOST VIEWED

  • Call for boycott of Angkor unacceptable

    Dear Editor, I wish to express my strong disagreement on the article published by Traveller for their website with the title Best places to go in 2020: 12 destinations you should avoid. Below is my opinion of the article. It is obviously free for the Traveller to

  • Probe underway after wreckage of drone with Chinese characters found

    Air Force Command spokesman Prak Sokha said on Sunday that investigations are underway regarding the wreckage of a drone that was recovered in Koh Kong province’s Koh Sdech commune in Kiri Sakor district. The wreckage has been taken to the capital for further examination,

  • Ministry issues warning over coronavirus outbreak

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday asked the public to be on “high alert” as a new virus wreaks havoc across Asia. However, no cases have been reported in the Kingdom thus far. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has raised the alarm for its similarity to

  • Gov’t slams UN rapporteurs over Sokha trial statement

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the UN Office in Geneva deplored the statement of three UN special rapporteurs who claimed that Kem Sokha’s trial was “tainted” due to irregularities. The reaction

  • No power shortages next dry season, says energy minister

    Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem has assured the public that Cambodia will not suffer power shortages during the next dry season. Speaking on local TV on Tuesday, Sem projected a rise in power demand during 2020’s dry season – which starts in November and

  • Gov’t takes steps to lower logistics, transport costs

    With the threat of losing trade privileges in the EU drawing closer, the government is taking measures to reduce logistics and transportation costs to safeguard the Kingdom’s competitiveness. The EU is due to decide whether or not to withdraw the Kingdom’s trade privileges