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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pangolin murder: Acquittal for suspect in immolation

Pangolin murder: Acquittal for suspect in immolation

Pursat Provincial Court has acquitted a former Royal Cambodian Armed Forces official who was accused of sett­­ing alight and killing an em­ployee in 2009.

Ou Bunthan was charged with murdering the man he suspected of stealing from his illegal pangolin trade, but was freed on Tuesday, due to a lack of evidence.

Am Sam Ath, chief investigator for rights group Licadho, said the decision was “unjust”.

The group claims it has an audio recording of the victim before his death.

“In his last words on the tape recording, he said that Ou Bunthan had poured petrol on him and burned him. The court should remember the victim’s last words,” Am Sam Ath said.

Sam Sokuthea, lawyer for the victim’s wife, told the Post the aquittal is painful for her client.

“She and her family are deeply disappointed that they have not received justice,” she said.

Im Socheat, lawyer for Ou Bunthan, said the verdict of the court was right because there was not enough evidence to convict.

“The court is very careful before deciding, they do not decide nonsense.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Meas Sokchea at meas.sokchea@phnompenhpost.com

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