Peaklica’s Relative Leaves Cambodia Under Protection

Flanked by a dozen Sam Rainsy Party bodyguards and friends, the brother-in-law of murdered actress Piseth Peaklica left Pochentong Airport on Wednes­day saying he was worried for his safety after alleged intimidation by penal police officers.

Each Chandara departed with his wife and 7-year-old daughter for Bangkok. He said that penal police had stationed themselves outside his home Wednesday and were following him.

“When I went out I noticed that penal police officers were following me. I don’t know the reason for this,” said Each Chandara, a Sam Rainsy Party bodyguard himself who is married to the deceased actress’ sister. “I am worried about my safety.”

Khmer-language newspapers reported last month that a high-ranking government official was linked to the shooting death of Piseth Peaklica. But no proof has emerged and Teng Savong, the chairman of an investigation task force, said he would not reveal what police have learned of the murder until the investigation is complete.

Claims of intimidation were not uncommon during the campaign period of last year’s national elections. Both Funcinpec and the Sam Rainsy Party alleged acts of intimidation by CPP supporters. In post-election demonstrations that turned violent, scores of

people went missing and deaths of some protesters were confirmed by the UN rights center.

Municipal Police Commis­sioner Neth Savoeun said Wed­nes­day he had not assigned any police to watch Each Chandara’s house. Police could only be assigned to such a task at the request of the family, he added.

Said Sam Rainsy, “[Each Chandara] is worried because the authorities think he may hold some secrets which could be embarrassing to them….They are nervous to see Chandara, his wife and daughter go abroad where they can reveal things about the killing of Piseth Peaklica. The family knows who did what.”

Each Chandara said he will return to Phnom Penh on Aug 30, after his daughter has undergone examinations on the bullet that has been lodged near her spine since the July 6 shooting.

Sao Peana, the wife of Each Chandara, said last week at a press conference that no government officials were involved in the slaying of her sister and that the family was cooperating with authorities.

Accompanying Each Chandara to the airport, Long Ry, deputy security chief for the party, said “Chandara is always afraid now.”

“After the killing he received telephone threats….I was also called and told to keep myself away from the case. These days I always stay in my house. I never go out,” said Long Ry.

Long Ry said he has been intimidated by security force personnel on two occasions since the murder of Piseth Peaklica.

(Additional reporting Pin Siso­vann)

 

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