Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ousted Takeo governor's brother questioned in suspicious death of National Assembly staffer, police say

Ousted Takeo governor's brother questioned in suspicious death of National Assembly staffer, police say

Suspects in the suspicious death of National Assembly staffer Chev Sovathana arrive at Phnom Penh Municipal Court Saturday afternoon.
Suspects in the suspicious death of National Assembly staffer Chev Sovathana arrive at Phnom Penh Municipal Court Saturday afternoon. Hong Menea

Ousted Takeo governor's brother questioned in suspicious death of National Assembly staffer, police say

Lay Narith, deputy police chief of Takeo province and brother of recently ousted governor Lay Vannak, is among a group of suspects to be questioned Saturday in connection to the suspicious death of a 36-year-old woman who worked at the National Assembly, police confirmed.

Chev Sovathana, a CPP Youth working group member and National Assembly staffer, was found hanged in her room in Takeo in January. Her death was ruled a suicide, despite her family contending there was no chair or ledge from which she could have jumped.

The death is now being investigated as a murder, and a group of suspects, including Narith, the Takeo provincial deputy police chief, was brought to Phnom Penh Municipal Court for questioning on Saturday. The number of suspects was not disclosed.

Sok Khemarin, head of the penal crime department at the Ministry of Interior, confirmed the group would be questioned. But he rejected reports published by the online Swift News outlet and elsewhere that Narith's brother Vannak, the former governor who was transferred from his post to a position at the Ministry of Interior last Monday, was among the suspects.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Ly Sophana declined to comment, directing all questions to police.

Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak on Saturday described the case as “a knot” that police investigators are working to undo. "We are reinvestigating this case because of the dissatisfaction of the family and our authorities who were also dissatisfied," he said.

Sopheak said police had questioned witnesses and the maid who lived with the deceased woman, who “gave clear information".

National Assembly spokesperson Leng Peng Long confirmed that Sovathana had been employed at the assembly and had been an active ruling party youth group member.

"She was a hardworking person," he said. "We regret her loss."

Updates to follow

A previous version of this story misspelled the name of Sok Khemarin, head of the penal crime department at the Ministry of Interior.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro