The Ministry of Interior has accepted an offer of help from
the FBI in investigating the pre-election murder of an opposition journalist, officials said Monday.
Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak said Prime
Minister Hun Sen on Friday had accepted the FBI's help in the case of Khim
Sambor, and opposition journalist, and his son, who were both killed July 11 in
a Phnom Penh
shooting, two weeks before the national elections.
The cooperation met with approval from many Monday, but it
remained unclear what role the US
agency would play.
Kim Sambor's daughter, Kath Sarinda, 24, said she supported
"I hope that they will bring in the real killer, not
the fake killer, like in the Chea Vichea case," she said.
Labor leader Chea Vichea was shot dead in 2004, and two men
widely considered innocent each received 20-year prison sentences for the
The US Embassy received an official request from the Ministry of Interior, , a US Embassy
spokesman said. It was too early to speculate how the FBI might help, the
spokesman, John Johnson, said.
The FBI will make the investigation faster, he said, because
the FBI has more experience and resources.
Phnom Penh Police Chief Touch Naroth said he would be happy
to work with the FBI in an investigation that is already underway.
Moneaksekar Khmer editor Dam Sith welcomed the aid of the
FBI, and Adhoc director Thun Saray called it a "positive"
If a killer is not found with the help of the FBI, public
opinion will be more calm, Thun Saray said. The cooperation will be seen as an opening
of the government to international police efforts, showing a greater will for Cambodia to
find the killer.
Twelve reporters have been killed since 1994, but is the
first time the FBI has helped in such an investigation.