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Rural Journalist Claims Death Threat

A Preah Vihear province newspaper reporter said Wednesday he received a direct death threat, following a story alleging a local official was bilking money from soldiers.

Tri Vutha told VOA Khmer he reported the scheme for Koh Santepheap newspaper and named the provincial director of the Social Affairs Ministry, Kim Thany.

He reported than Kim Thany was keeping for himself state funds designated for disabled soldiers.

Later, in an encounter at a local restaurant, Kim Thany threatened to have him killed, Tri Vutha said.

"He said stop issuing articles defaming him, or he would use $10,000 to hire the provincial [police or military police] commissioner, who is his friend, to kill me," Tri Vutha said.

Kim Thany denied the charges, saying Tri Vutha was new to the area and a drinker who made baseless allegations.

"He's just a youngster, and is no match for me," Kim Thany said. "So I don't have to confront him."