The Cambodian government on Saturday said it had closed its investigation into the fatal shootings of a well-known activist and a military police officer after the arrest of a security guard.
Ran Boroth accidentally shot dead In Rattana, a military policeman who had just gunned down anti-logging activist Chhut Vuthy during an argument in a remote forest on April 26, a government spokesman said.
"This is the clear and true result confirmed by witnesses at the scene," spokesman Tith Sothea told reporters in the capital Phnom Penh.
"Now we have shown the truth to the public," he said of the government probe. "So our work is closed for now."
The findings contradict earlier claims by the military police that In Rattana fired two bullets from his AK-47 into his own chest, after shooting dead the prominent activist.
Vuthy's death shocked the country and prompted international calls for an impartial investigation.
According to the official version, Vuthy, 45, was trying to expose illegal logging in southwestern Koh Kong province with two journalists when he was confronted by a group of men, including the security guard and several military police, who tried to confiscate his camera.
A heated argument ensued during which In Rattana shot Vuthy. Ran Boroth then "tried to grab the weapon from In Rattana to prevent him from firing more shots but the gun discharged and killed him", Tith Sothea said.
Ran Boroth, 26, worked for Timbergreen, a company licensed to log the reservoir site for a Chinese-funded dam.
He has been charged with involuntary homicide, which carries a sentence of one to three years in prison.
Campaigners say Cambodia has recently seen a worrying rise in violence against citizens involved in land and labour disputes, resulting in a number of injuries, often at the hands of armed government security forces.
The outspoken Vuthy, who inspired villagers to conduct forest patrols to monitor deforestation and illegal logging, is the most high-profile activist to have died since the 2004 daylight murder of union leader Chea Vichea.