by Bob Couttie

Lawyers are demanding bail for Olivier Van Den Bogaert, the 41-year old Belgian accused of murdering a French tourist in the resort town of Kampot, Cambodia. With inconclusive DNA assays and no conclusive evidence after a six month investigation, Van Den Bogaert’s lawyers believe there is too little evidence to hold him.

camy2Ophelia Begnis, 25, was found dead and naked in the Kampong Bay River at about noon on 10 February this year. She had been battered with a heavy sharp object like a machete and dumped in the river sometime in the previous 12 hours. She was last seen alive at about 4:30 the previous evening cycling away from Les Manigueres, the guesthouse a little north of the main town where she was staying. Her body was found in a loop of the river some kilometres south of town.

The Phnom Penh Post quotes Van Den Bogaert’s attorney, Khun Sophal:

camy4“Up to now, according to my inspection of the charges and the process of interrogation, I have not found any evidence for putting any burden on or charging my client yet”.

Sophal claims to have found ten witnesses, Cambodian and foreign, whose testimony would support his client’s innocence.

Earlier this year the results of a French investigation found no evidence that Van Den Bogaert was involved in the murder.

camy5An investigation judge, Hong Sokhun Vattana, is questioning witnesses, among them a young girl who claims to have seen Begnis riding a bicycle which she later saw being dumped in the river near a durian plantation, by someone resembling Van Den Bogaert. A bicycle has been recovered but cannot be conclusively proven to be the one rented by Begnis from her guesthouse.

Hong is charged with conducting an independent investigation of the evidence. He agrees that it is taking an unusually long time. According to news reports, the investigating judge says:

“The reason that the court is taking a longer time to investigate is because the court wants to investigate this case in detail before conducting the trial.”

Van Den Bogaert could remain in pre-trial detention  for up to 18 months.

More on the Kampot murder case here.

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3 Responses to Kampot Ex-Pat Murder Suspect Pleads For Bail

  1. Andrew says:

    Hey Bob, just cant believe that place ,for my mate Olly, this is a setup by former immigration officer a Mr Ly Chankrisna, as Olly blue the whistle on him with the passport saga, and No 1 cop in Kampot was pissed off, this is bullshit, the imm cop as always called the smileing thieve as he was but the expats there are to weak too speak out, fuck that country and its people, some are ok but rest are mongel dogs,i have lived there many years and will never return or even recommend my worst enemy to go there, watch your back as they are watching yours, take care Andrew

  2. sam ulrich says:

    Unbelievable! Oli was one of the nicest people I met in Kampot in the three months I stayed there and there is no doubt in my mind that he is innocent. How sad, how ridiculous. A set up? A big mistake? What the fuck? I just can’t wait until he is free and safe from jail and corruption back with his friends and family.

  3. Frank says:

    Hi

    Any more news about Olly?
    He was my former tennispartner in Belgium and we met several times on the Koh Chang Island.
    Can you inform me whether he’s still in jail in Kampot.
    If so, can you tell me if he can be visited as we are planning to tour in this area soon.
    Kind regards
    Frank

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