Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - US politician with ties to Cambodia kills self

US politician with ties to Cambodia kills self

New York state assemblyman Bill Nojay walks along the street during a Republican event earlier this year in America. Facebook
New York state assemblyman Bill Nojay walks along the street during a Republican event earlier this year in America. Facebook

US politician with ties to Cambodia kills self

New York state assemblyman Bill Nojay, who had maintained a colourful connection to Cambodia over the past three decades, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in New York on Friday, according to the Associated Press.

Nojay most recently made headlines in Cambodia in 2014, when he was named along with three others in a fraud case. He was treasurer of Akra Agricultural Partners Inc, which billed itself as designed to rejuvenate Cambodian rice farming by serving as an umbrella brand for cooperative farmers.

Phnom Penh dentist Eng Lykuong invested $1 million in the company in 2012, only for the board of directors to spend the next year avoiding her calls, she said yesterday. The case saw three of the board tried in absentia and the fourth, San Richer, found guilty in late 2014.

Among the board members was Nojay’s old classmate from Columbia University, Sichan Siv, known for being the United States’ ambassador to the UN from 2001 to 2006.

Siv was also responsible for bringing about Nojay’s first visit to Cambodia in the 1980s, according to a 1996 interview with the assemblyman in the Rochester Business Journal.

By the mid-1980s, Siv was the Khmer People’s National Liberation Front’s (KPNLF) ambassador to the UN. The KPNLF was a guerrilla force operating along the Thai border and Siv invited his old classmate to join the cause as its US counsel.

An archived version of Nojay’s biography on his official website said that he crossed the border “without the benefit of a visa but with courtesy of Task Force 80”, referencing an elite border patrol unit of the Thai army.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh authorities ban march for Human Rights Day

    Phnom Penh authorities have banned a planned march as local NGOs and workers’ unions gear up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, with a youth group leader saying they would march nonetheless. The UN

  • Phnom Penh’s Jet’s Container Night Market shuts down

    The famous Jet’s Container Night Market in central Phnom Penh has shut down due to the high cost of the land rental, company representatives claim. Jet’s Container Night Market is the largest such market in Phnom Penh. It operated for just over two

  • Hun Sen rejects ‘rift’ rumours spread by ‘stupid gangsters’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday denied a “rift” among top leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), and rejected claims that Senate president Say Chhum and Interior Minister Sar Kheng were set to be removed from their positions as rumours spread by “gangsters”.

  • EU ambassador to Cambodia: Rights a ‘work in progress’

    The EU ambassador to Cambodia has called human rights “a work in progress” and said the 28-nation bloc has “carefully” noted last week’s statement by the government on taking further steps to strengthen democracy and the political sphere in the Kingdom. The EU marked