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Preah Sihanouk police investigate death of man thrown in ditch

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Preah Sihanouk provincial police are questioning several people including a commune police chief over the death of a man who was thrown into a ditch after being hit with a sickle in Prey Nop district. Photo supplied

Preah Sihanouk police investigate death of man thrown in ditch

A commune police chief was among six people called in for questioning by the head of Preah Sihanouk provincial police over the death on Monday of a man who was thrown into a ditch after being hit with a sickle.

The Ream commune police chief, village security guards and the owner of a timber depot were among those summoned by provincial police chief Choun Narin on Tuesday in a case he said “was not being treated as intentional murder”.

Narin told The Post on Wednesday that none of the six had been arrested. They had only been questioned regarding the death of 26-year-old Takeo native Cheng Phors, who worked as a security guard at a farm in Prey Nop district’s Ream commune.

“I am working on this matter as it is very complicated because it is not a case of intentional murder. I have been working in line with procedure. The victim was mentally ill."

“I summoned the commune police chief to answer questions at the provincial police headquarters. No one has been arrested because I am questioning them,” Narin said.

Narin said Ream commune police chief Kong Samai was called on Monday night after there was a report of someone kicking the door of the property at the timber yard, with the commune chief ordering the offender away.

The police received a report the next morning that the man who had kicked the door had been found dead.

Prey Nop district police chief Huor Yai declined to comment on the case, saying he did not know the details.

Ream commune chief Kim Chan told The Post on Wednesday that six people had been questioned regarding the death of the man, who worked at a farm near the timber yard.

Chan said he could not provide further detail and referred The Post reporter to Prey Nop district police Chief Huor Yai, who declined to comment.

According to a local news report on Tuesday that cited a resident who asked for anonymity, Phors was drunk on the night of the altercation.

At around 9pm, he kicked the door to the property of the woman who owned the timber yard, trying to force it open. The unnamed youngest son of the woman hit Phors on the shoulder with a sickle, injuring but not killing him, the report said.

The woman called Ream commune police chief Samai to take the victim away from her property, promising him $10,000. Samai and village security guards threw the injured man into a ditch near a bridge, leaving him to die, the report said.

Cheap Sotheary, the provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, told The Post on Wednesday that she was aware of the case and was to investigate further.

“I would like to invite villagers or witnesses who have knowledge of this case to please come forward and share any information they have,” she appealed.

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