Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Remembering Kem Ley

Remembering Kem Ley

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Friends of Kem Ley on Tuesday place a garland near the site where the political analyst was shot two years ago. Pha Lina

Remembering Kem Ley

Supporters of Kem Ley, including NGOs and youth groups, on Tuesday commemorated the second anniversary of the prominent political analyst’s death by shooting.

Many who attended called for the creation of a panel to further investigate the killing, with one saying he believed the man serving life in prison for the crime is a “fake killer” acting as a fall guy for powerful masterminds.

However, a Ministry of Justice spokesman said the request to establish such a panel is “impossible procedurally”.

A wreath was laid at the petrol station cafe on Monivong Boulevard where Ley, an outspoken critic of the government, was shot dead on July 10 , 2016.

Oeut Ang, who upon his arrest shortly after the shooting called himself Choub Samlab, or “meet to kill” in Khmer, was convicted of Ley’s murder and is serving a life sentence.

After laying the wreath, Cambodian Confederation of Unions president Rong Chhun said: “We are still shocked by Kem Ley’s death. He always spoke the truth about the social problems affecting the people. We will always respect his name and praise and remember his heroism.

“We can see the authorities [have convicted] Oeut Ang. But people regard Ang as a fake killer, so we want the Phnom Penh municipal authorities to create a committee to investigate the murder, find its masterminds and bring them to justice.”

He said the authorities could not find those behind the killings of several prominent personalities, including trade union leader Chea Vichea, environmental activist Chut Vuthy, and now Kem Ley, and claimed the deaths of the famous and influential remain unpunished because they involved powerful people.

“In the murders of famous people who helped society, the municipal authorities have not found the real killers and their masterminds to be punished under the law, and that makes people suspicious."

“To eliminate those suspicions, the authorities need to find the killers and their masterminds,” he said.

Justice Ministry spokesman Chin Malin said: “The request to establish an investigative committee is impossible procedurally because it is not legally correct and driven by political aims.

“This case is being processed by the court and the killer is being punished, with Oeut Ang sentenced to life in prison.”

Malin said authorities will reveal the results of the ongoing secondary probe into Ley’s death in due course when court procedures are completed.

Ang’s court-appointed lawyer Lor Kimgech said he had filed a Supreme Court appeal as requested by his client, but it has yet to set a trial date.

He said the decision to file the complaint came after the Appeal Court on May 11 upheld the verdict of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in sentencing his client to life in prison.

MOST VIEWED

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said

  • CPP: ‘Behave or Sokha suffers’

    The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman warned Kem Monovithya on Thursday that her attempt to damage “national reputation and prestige” would lead to her father, Kem Sokha, receiving even harsher punishment. Sok Eysan issued the warning as Monovithya, who is the court dissolved

  • Preah Sihanouk beach developments halted

    After receiving an order from Hun Sen, Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara led a team of experts and relevant officials to Sihanoukville to call a halt to the illegal development of a beach. The prime minister ordered the Prek Treng beach in Otres commune