Khmer National United Party president Nhek Bun Chhay’s wife, Sam Sopheap, passed away at a hospital in Bangkok around 4am yesterday due to illness.
Mr Bun Chhay, who was re-elected as party president on Saturday following his release on bail over drug charges, posted a message on his Facebook page yesterday.
“I, Nhek Bun Chhay, am very saddened to announce that my wife, Sam Sopheap, died at the age of 60 at about 4am on Tuesday in a hospital in Bangkok,” he said.
Mr Bun Chhay could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Last month, Mr Bun Chhay’s lawyer Ouk Vandeth said that the Phnom Penh Municipal Court released his client on bail because he was very sick, with high blood pressure and diabetes, and to take care of his wife who had lung cancer.
Soeng Kiry, a senior adviser to the KNUP, said that news of the death of Sam Sopheap was provided by her daughter and relatives taking care of her in a hospital in Bangkok yesterday morning.
Mr Kiry said that she was battling brain and lung cancer over the past year, noting her conditioned worsened when her husband was jailed in August on drug production charges linked to an old 2007 case in Kampong Speu province.
“She was receiving medical treatment,” Mr Kiry said. “I am very saddened to hear of her death because she was a very generous person.”
“Her body will be carried by a truck to Cambodia and will arrive in Cambodia tonight,” Mr Kiry added.
The body of Sam Sopheap will be kept for a funeral at Mr Bun Chhay’s home in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changva district until Friday, when her body will be cremated at Chambak Meas pagoda in Chroy Changva district’s Bak Kheng commune.