Family members of both dead men in last month’s Koh Kong shooting were in disbelief Monday, following a government announcement over the weekend it had completed its investigation.
Cambodian authorities say military policeman In Ratana shot activist Chut Wutty, who was in turn accidentally shot as Rann Boroth, a security guard for a nearby timber company, tried to disarm him.
Chut Wutty had been escorting two journalists to a remote area of the province to investigate illegal logging, which remains a lucrative crime in Cambodia involving power officials.
A special investigative committee declared the case closed on Saturday, citing testimony from three witnesses. Rann Boroth will be charged with accidentally killing In Ratana and faces up to three years in prison if convicted.
But In Sitha, In Ratana’s brother, told VOA Khmer from his Kandal province home that he believes someone else actually shot In Ratana. “I cannot claim my brother’s life back,” he said. “I want my brother to die with dignity. If he intended to shoot Wutty, we could have easily escaped into the forest, because he was armed and nobody would stop him.”
Sam Chanty, Chut Wutty’s wife, said she did not believe her husband was shot by In Ratana, or that In Ratana had been shot twice in the torso by accident.
Chan Saveth, an investigator for the rights group Adhoc, said the investigation had not probed deeply enough into the double killing.