Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Six questioned in death of National Assembly staffer



Six questioned in death of National Assembly staffer

Ex-Takeo Governor Lay Vannak is brought to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday for questioning in the suspicious death of a National Assembly staffer.
Ex-Takeo Governor Lay Vannak is brought to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday for questioning in the suspicious death of a National Assembly staffer. Hong Menea

Six questioned in death of National Assembly staffer

Prosecutors on Monday continued to question six suspects – including former Takeo Governor Lay Vannak – believed to be involved in the death of a National Assembly staffer who was romantically involved with Vannak.

“The prosecutor is interrogating and checking the evidence in the case,” Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Ly Sophanna said on Monday.

The case has fuelled intense speculation on social media that Vannak and his brother had a direct hand in 36-year-old Chev Sovathana’s death.

Vannak was transferred last week from his post as governor to an unspecified position at the Ministry of Interior without explanation, and officials have not said whether his removal was connected to the murder investigation.

The former governor, a CPP Central Committee member, was taken into custody Sunday afternoon, hours after he posted a denial on his Facebook page. In his post, he claimed Sovathana had attempted suicide multiple times before.

Vannak’s brother, provincial Deputy Police Chief Lay Narith, was arrested Saturday, along with four other suspects – Chan Ry, Sovathana’s maid; Choem Vuth, Ry’s husband; Men Sakmay, Vannak’s driver; and Tak Ratana, Narith’s driver.

Sovathana’s family could not be reached on Monday. According to police officials, they protested the original ruling of her death as a suicide. Though Sovathana was found hanged, her family noted there was no chair or ledge that she could have jumped from. Police later reopened the case as a murder investigation.

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown extended for another week

    The government late on April 26 announced an extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province for another seven days – or longer if residents do not comply with Covid-19 preventive measures and the community outbreak does not subside – until May 5. According

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov't mulls extension of Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown

    The Inter-ministerial National Commission for the Control and Enforcement of Lockdown held a video conference meeting on April 25 to review a draft document on the extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal province’s Takmao town. The meeting was chaired by Minister of

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a