Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - State calls for probe of Thai border killing

State calls for probe of Thai border killing

State calls for probe of Thai border killing

CAMBODIAN officials stationed in Thailand’s Sa Kaeo province plan to file a compliant to a Thai court after the killing of a Cambodian migrant worker near the border last week.

Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said yesterday that consular officials were preparing documents with a lawyer and would likely submit the complaint to a court in Sa Kaeo next week.

Officials are seeking further investigation into an incident in which a legal migrant worker was shot and killed by Thai authorities on Tuesday.

“We are filing a complaint because we want the court to find justice and conduct deeper investigations into the matter,” Koy Kuong said.

Sek Ratanak, a 25-year-old from Battambang province, was shot dead by Thai authorities after failing to stop at a checkpoint in Aranyaprathet, a Thai border town opposite Poipet.

In their report to Cambodian officials, police claim he was carrying an AK-47 rifle and accused him of using it to steal the motorbike. Another migrant worker, Hong Heang, 26, from Prey Veng province, was with Sek Ratanak at the time of the incident but escaped and reportedly returned to Cambodia, Koy Kuong said.

But he said that despite receiving photographs from Thailand showing the man’s body clutching the rifle, it was impossible for a migrant worker to carry a gun into Thailand undetected.

“We don’t believe at all in this made-up evidence from the Thai authorities,” he added.

On Friday, the ministry sent a diplomatic note to the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh seeking further investigation into the case and decrying the act as cruel and unnecessary.

Dy Phen, chief of the Cambodia-Thailand Border Relations Office in Poipet, said authorities in Battambang  were currently trying to track down Sek Ratanak’s relatives.

“If we still can’t find the relatives, we will cremate the corpse, as we cannot keep it much longer,” he said.

Thani Thongphakdi, deputy spokesman for the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs, could not be reached yesterday.

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