Publisher arrested in Sen Sok district killing

By: Kim Sarom

The publisher of a minor provincial newspaper has been sent to Prey Sar prison after he was charged with premeditated murder in the killing of Phnom Penh native Srun Sopheak.

Sopheak, 35, was found strangled and his lifeless body placed in a bag on May 23. The body bag was discovered in a pile of rubbish in the capital’s Sen Sok district, Teuk Thla commune.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court deputy prosecutor Ly Sophanna yesterday said he had charged Som Kimsean, 37, publisher of the Sovann Nokor newspaper, with the murder of Sopheak.

“The suspect had a plan to kill the victim,” he said.

The victim was an employee of a private company in Phnom Penh, and also moonlighted as a messenger for the Ministry of Commerce. According to his relatives, the victim’s car and some money were also stolen.

Family members also previously reported that his body was discovered with an ink stain on his right thumb, suggesting the man, who was also known as “Leang”, could have been forced to sign a contract before his death.

Authorities said the man had attended a wedding on Koh Pich prior to his death but never returned.

Police are investigating the possibility that he was forced to sign a document, which would add to the evidence of premeditation.