Accompanied by her two children, the wife of Khim Sambo, the opposition journalist who was killed alongside his son during the election campaign last July, left the country two weeks ago. The news was revealed by Chan Soveth, an investigator for Licadho. This departure was organized following the intervention made by three human rights organizations: Adhoc, Licadho and the UNHCR office in Cambodia.
Chan Soveth indicated also that other witnesses of the crime are now in hiding for security measure. According to Chan Soveth, the main reason which motivated this departure is because “the family has no confidence in the police because, up to now, the killers have not been arrested yet.” The current destination of the family is held in secret.
Touch Naroth, the Phnom Penh police commissioner, said that this situation will not help the case. He recognized that this departure will “create an obstacle to the investigation, but this will not prevent the FBI and the Cambodian police to pursue the search.”
Touch Naroth dismissed the declarations made by human rights organizations reagrding the lack of confidence in the police. “These associations say nonsense, if the family has no confidence in the police, who can they have confidence on?” Touch Naroth asked.
Following its initial focus on Khim Sambo himself, the investigations are now focused on his son. “The FBI and us agree on this point,” Touch Naroth claimed. Why the focus on the son? Because according to a hospital report, one of the doctors who took care of him when he arrived at the emergency room, heard him whispering that he was killed because of a “grudge.”
In the upcoming days, two new FBI agents are expected to arrive in Phnom Penh – an investigator and a composite sketcher who will be in charge of obtaining a sketch of the killers based on descriptions provided by witnesses.