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Opposition And NGOs Cautiously Hail Government on Arresting a Senior Police Commissioner

Opposition party and civil societies officials are happy to see that the government is taking measures to search for former police chief charged of serious human rights violations.

They say that this search should not be tied to any political gains, and that other officials tied to crimes should be brought to justice too.

Former Phnom Penh police commissioner, and Ministry of Interior under Secretary of State Heng Pov was removed from under Secretary of State, and Prime Minister Hun Sen's adviser positions by King Norodom Sihamoni on July 27, with Mr. Hun Sen's requests.

Mr. Heng Pov was charged with killing Phnom Penh court judge Sok sethamony, and with intention to kill military police commander, Sau Sokha.

National Assembly's interior, national defense, and investigation committee chairman, from Sam Rainsy opposition party (SRP) Yim Sovan considers the search good, and that in the past Mr. Heng Pov's subordinates were involved with crimes.

Mr. Heng Pov and his family cannot be reached for comment Tuesday.

Cambodia Center for Human Rights' (CCHR) director Kem Sokha says that the search shows that the government does not tolerate those officials who commit wrongdoings, especially human rights violation. He says that his center has not begun any investigation yet, saying that we should monitor to see whether or not the action is done in general or for only those that they want to pursue.

Human rights Adhoc's director Thun Saray calls this measure a possible way to curb or reduce human rights violation committed by government officials.

Mr. Heng Pov was reported having left Cambodia for Singapore last week. At his house in Ta Khmau, Kandal province, authorities found 9 weapons and $30,000 worth of counterfeit money.

Phnom Penh police officers search another house which they suspect belongs to Mr. Heng Pov.

Phnom Penh deputy police commissioner Pol Phithey told reporters his unit finds two vihicles, and a number of documents. Police officials sources say that the search at Heng Pov's house again Tuesday finds $340,000.

National Police Commissioner Hok Lundi and Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak cannot be reached for comment. Interior Ministry Deputy Penal Police Chief Mak Chito declines comment saying he is busy.