Sole suspect in the July murder of political commentator Kem Ley, 44-year-old former soldier Oeut Ang, on Friday was assigned a defence lawyer by the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia, just weeks before he is scheduled to go on trial.
Ang, a resident of Siem Reap province and a former monk, is accused of shooting Ley point blank in broad daylight as Ley sat at a Caltex petrol station sipping his morning coffee. The accused is scheduled to go on trial March 1 and faces charges of premeditated murder and illegal gun possession.
Yung Phanith, Ang’s newly assigned defence lawyer, said yesterday that he had been handed the case by the Bar Association on Friday and expected to receive all the case files from the court today.
“After I have received the case and checked it, I have to go to visit him, which could be Tuesday or Wednesday,” he said via telephone.
Phanith said he would need to assess the case before deciding on whether he would ask for a delay in court proceedings.
“If the case complicated, I will need more time to study the case. But if it is not complicated we will go to trial on March 1,” he said.
A lawsuit in the US is currently trying to force Caltex owner Chevron’s hand in obtaining CCTV footage of the killing, which police grabbed in its immediate wake.