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Son Dismisses Rumors in Police Chief’s Death

The son of deceased police chief Hok Lundy has added his voice to officials who say his cause of death in November last year was indeed from an aircraft accident.

Dy Vichea, who also goes by Hok Lundoak, told VOA Khmer by phone Tuesday that his father had died from weather complications in a helicopter crash in Svay Rieng province, claiming he had heard rumors to the contrary but did not believe them.

“It is known to everybody that it was caused by weather, and rumors are only heard,” he said. “I’ve also heard them.”

Following the Nov. 9 helicopter crash, politicians, businessmen, civil servants and analysts have said they suspect foul play—such as an act of terrorism or assassination—but officials have maintained the cause of the accident was due to storms over Svay Rieng.

Hok Lundy, then 51, was the powerful chief of national police and a strong supporter of Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Cambodian People’s Party. He was implicated in a number of rights abuses he maintained as groundless.

Om Yienteng, a senior advisor to Hun Sen and deputy chief of the national Counter-Terrorism Authority, said rumors of a criminal end were spread by people who “may sit and think too much.”

“Not only does the government regret the loss of our own senior official, but we have thoroughly investigated,” he said. “Having seen the debris, we made a judgment, and having seen the corpse, we made a judgment.”

Recordings from air-traffic control and the helicopter also confirmed the crash was weather related, he said.