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Activists Question Charges of Suspect in Koh Kong Shooting

Chut Wutty, a prominent Cambodian anti-logging activist who helped expose a secretive state sell-off of national parks was fatally shot on April 25, 2012 in a remote southwestern province, FILE February 21, 2012.

Rights workers say Koh Kong authorities have detained one man in the shooting of environmentalist Chut Wutty. However, the detention of Rann Bunroth, 27, seem dubious, said Chan Saveth, an investigator for the rights group Adhoc.

Rann Bunroth is reportedly being charged for failing to stop military policeman In Ratana from shooting Chut Wutty in the April 26 confrontation.

In Ratana was fatally shot twice in the torso in an exchange of gunfire. Officials originally said they suspected In Ratana shot Chut Wutty before turning the weapon on himself.

However, Chan Saveth said authorities have not investigated the shooting far enough.

“This charge is not acceptable,” Chan Saveth said. “The prosecutor should deeply investigate who was behind the shooting.”

Court officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Hun Rath, 57, father of the suspect, said Rann Bunroth has already hired a lawyer.