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Police Link Activists Murder to Love Triangle

An investigator for the prominent rights group Adhoc was murdered in Stung Treng province earlier this month because he was involved in a love triangle, police have concluded following an investigation, though rights workers say they are dubious.

Seng Saran, who was shot through the floorboards of his stilt home and was involved in investigations in the notorious forestry and fisheries industries, was killed due to a personal grudge, Stung Treng Deputy Governor Ek Sivandon said.

He was involved with a friend's wife, police found, according to Ek Sivandon.

Suspect Bang Hut admitted during an interrogation that he and an accomplice, Sy Vuthy, who did the actual shooting, killed Seng Saran out of anger. Seng Saran had an affair with Sy Vuthy's wife, Bang Hut said.

Adhoc investigator Chan Saveth said he thought the authorities focused too closely on the personal grudge. Police first assumed Seng Saran had been murdered over a boat dispute.

"After some investigations, we see that there are many loopholes which the department in charge has not reviewed closely," Chan Saveth said. "I want the department in charge not to think about one side of the story."

Police had spent too much time following this lead while eschewing leads that may have led to the real reasons for the murder, he said.