Forestry Shooting Suspect Held Over Weapon

Four of five suspects detained following the fatal shooting of a Forestry Administration officer in Kompong Chhnang province last week will be released pending a decision by the provincial court prosecutor, an official said on Sunday.

But the fifth suspect—one of three soldiers from an artillery unit who were detained—will be sent to the court for questioning for allegedly possessing an illegal weapon, said provincial military police commander Meas Sovann.

“The suspect did not get involved with this crime [the shooting] but he got involved with another crime,” Mr. Sovann said, adding that the soldier had taken his military-issued AK-47 assault rifle to use for hunting, which is not allowed.

The same type of gun was used to kill forestry officer Sing Hak, 54, and injure three others when masked gunmen sprayed bullets through a Forestry Administration office in Kompong Chhnang province on Tuesday.

The military police’s investigation has yet to produce any evidence linking the five suspects to the crime, Mr. Sovann said.

Kong Sam Em, chief of Kraing Skear commune in Toek Phos district, said on Wednesday that he believed the shooting was ordered by a disgruntled wood trader who had become angry when officials prevented the transportation of his timber.

Mr. Em declined to comment on Sunday, referring questions to the military police.

Mr. Sovann said the victim had lost his gold necklace during a scuffle with his assailants, but the motive for the shooting remained unclear.

“Everything is still in the dark, but we are still investigating this case,” he said.

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