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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - No delay requested in Kem Ley murder trial

Police stand next to Oeut Ang last year at the Phnom Penh police headquarters after he was arrested for the murder of Kem Ley. Photo supplied
Police stand next to Oeut Ang last year at the Phnom Penh police headquarters after he was arrested for the murder of Kem Ley. Photo supplied

No delay requested in Kem Ley murder trial

The lawyer of accused Kem Ley killer Oeut Ang will not request a delay to the Wednesday start date of his client’s trial, he said yesterday, adding that the case is “not complicated” and he will attempt to clear his client from blame.

Ley, a prominent political analyst, was shot in broad daylight at a busy Caltex petrol station on July 10 last year.

Ang, 44, who initially gave his name as Chuob Samlab (“meet to kill”), was captured shortly afterwards and remains the sole suspect. His family, the government and activists have cast doubt on Ang’s claim he killed Ley over an unpaid debt, with many human rights observers suggesting a political motive lays at the heart of the murder.

Yung Phanith, Ang’s lawyer, yesterday confirmed he would go to trial on Wednesday.

“I have studied the case and met my client on Thursday. The case is not complicated, [and] he has prepared himself and has a strong spirit for trial,” Phanith said. “I have prepared myself to exculpate [the guilt] . . . everything will be shown to the public at trial, and whether to exculpate or [not] . . . the judge will make the decision and the public who participate will judge for themselves.”

Legal expert Sok Sam Ouen said the case would be an easy one for Phanith, as, based on Ang’s confession, “his defence is only mitigating the punishment”. But he doubted Ang could be found not guilty.

“Did Ang change his confession? If not, how can he be exculpated?” he said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY ERIN HANDLEY

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