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Slain journalist's mother seeks justice

Slain journalist's mother seeks justice

A journalist murdered in Ratanakkiri last week took a call from his accused killer on the night of his disappearance, his family has claimed in a complaint to the rights group Adhoc.

Ken Sovann, 63, the mother of slain journalist Hang Serei Oudom, whose body was found in his car in O’Chum district last Tuesday, will lodge the same complaint with the provincial court today, asking for US$100,000 compensation and demanding that those responsible, including accomplices, be punished.

“Please find justice for my son,” Sovann said yesterday, adding that she feared for her safety.

Military police captain An Bunheng, also known as Eng, and his wife Sim Vy, from Banlung town, were charged on Sunday with the premeditated murder of Oudom, a journalist with the Vorakchun Khmer newspaper, and ordered into pre-trial detention.

According to the complaint, which includes thumbprints from Sovann and Oudom’s wife, Im Chanthym, Bunheng called Oudom at 7pm on September 9, just before he left his house for a meeting.

The following day, the complaint states, Oudom’s wife went to Bunheng’s house in Boeung Kanseng commune in search of her husband. Bunheng, however, told her he had not seen him.

The same day, Oudom’s 15-year-old daughter called him about 7pm.

He explained to her that he was busy, before she heard another voice speaking to her father in the background.

“What do you want?” Oudom asked. “It’s nothing. Wait and see,” the voice said, according to the complaint.

An article Oudom wrote in Vorakchun Khmer on September 6 alleged a military police officer, the son of a provincial military police commander, was involved in illegal logging.

Adhoc investigator Chhay Thi said police and Adhoc staff had found the victim’s shoes and bloodstained blankets at the suspects’ house, which doubles as a karaoke parlour.

Defence lawyer Tep Monycheath, however, said police did not have enough evidence to convict his clients.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chhay Channyda at [email protected]