Villagers from Kompong Speu province protested for a second day in front of the Phnom Penh headquarters of ANZ Royal Bank on Wednesday, smearing the building’s exterior with red-painted handprints after the lender once again refused to help them resolve their land dispute with a sugar plantation it helped finance.
Dana Beerdsen, a 19-month-old Dutch girl who was critically injured last month in an attack in which her mother was stabbed to death in their Phnom Penh home, died in a Bangkok hospital on Wednesday night, according to police.
Lieutenant Colonel Mom Sitha, municipal foreign police chief, said that he received confirmation of Dana Beerdsen’s death from the British Embassy, which handles the affairs of Dutch nationals in Cambodia.
“I was informed by the British Embassy,” Lt. Col. Sitha said.
“Now we are preparing another document to send to the court, once we have received a report of Dana’s death from the doctors in Thailand, via the British Embassy,” he said.
An official at the Embassy of the Netherlands in Bangkok, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter, also confirmed the girl’s death.
“I can confirm this,” said the official, adding that the embassy is providing support to the girl’s family.
Dana Beerdsen, having suffered serious head trauma and stab wounds to her body, was found lying bloodied near her dead mother, 31-year-old Dutch national Daphna Beerdsen, on the morning of April 28.
According to the family’s cleaner Keo Somaly, who discovered the bodies, local authorities prevented her from taking the baby to the hospital for between 20 and 30 minutes.
The girl was eventually taken by motorbike to the Kantha Bopha children’s hospital before being airlifted to Bangkok General Hospital that night, accompanied by her fa?ther, Joris Oele. Hospital officials Thursday referred questions to the Dutch Embassy.
Both Daphna Beerdsen and her husband, Mr. Oele, were employed by the U.N. in Cambodia. Mr. Oele, who works for U.N. Habitat, had been in Preah Sihanouk province for a conference on climate change when the attack occurred.
On Saturday, a 35-year-old homeless man, Chea Pin, was charged with Daphna Beerdsen’s murder by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court and sent to Prey Sar prison.
The day beforehand, he told reporters that he was drunk and had tried to steal a bicycle from the victim’s home in the early hours of the morning. When allegedly confronted by Daphna Beerdsen, Mr. Phin claimed that he stabbed her with his eyes closed, but had not in?tended to harm the toddler.
He was arrested in Wat Botum on April 30, allegedly in possession of a laptop, handbag and I.D. card that police said belonged to Daphna Beerdsen.
Lt. Col. Sitha said that police would file further charges against Mr. Phin following Dana Beerdsen’s death last night.
“There will be one more count of an offense added to the suspect’s case,” he said.
Rabbi Bentzion Butman, who leads the Chabad Jewish Center in Phnom Penh and on Sunday visited Mr. Oele and his daughter in Bangkok, said in an email to Cambodia’s Jewish community Thursday that “little Dana did not survive the brutal attack.”
“Dana has returned her soul to its Creator at a hospital in Bangkok at 21:45 last night,” the email message said.
He said Daphna Beerdsen’s body would be taken to the airport this morning, while her daughter’s body would be repatriated to the Netherlands from Bangkok. Both mother and daughter are to be buried together at the Jewish Cemetery in Amsterdam, Rabbi Butman said.
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