Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Who does Kem Ley's killing ‘benefit’, asks PM

Who does Kem Ley's killing ‘benefit’, asks PM

Hun Sen speaks during an inauguration ceremony yesterday, where he warned against calling Kem Ley’s death political. Photo supplied
Hun Sen speaks during an inauguration ceremony yesterday, where he warned against calling Kem Ley’s death political. Photo supplied

Who does Kem Ley's killing ‘benefit’, asks PM

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday called for calm in the wake of the slaying of political analyst Kem Ley, though appeared to cast aspersions in the direction of the opposition party by asking “who benefited” from a crime that made the government look bad.

Speaking to a gathering of military police, the premier again condemned Sunday’s shooting of the prominent government critic and called for authorities to find and punish the perpetrators or “conspiracy” behind the murder, while also announcing the government would begin a “campaign” to clamp down on crime and increase security.

While 44-year-old suspect Oeut Ang claimed he shot Ley over a debt in a confession video uploaded just hours after the crime, many were quick to label the slaying political, among them opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who flatly accused the state of involvement, while noting past assassinations of government critics.

Yesterday, Hun Sen also discussed the possibility of a political motive behind the killing, though not the government’s.

“This is a huge loss and impacts the government’s image. Who gains to benefit from such a case which happened at the same time the government is talking about peace and safety for the people? . . . This point seems to be a mockery of us,” Hun Sen said.

“On the one hand, the government suffers a huge impact for the image created of a lack of so-called competence in providing security, and on the other hand, the issue has immediately been painted a colour [suggesting] political characteristics.

“Therefore, I hope that our people will allow the competent ministries and institutions to work thoroughly and avoid turning this tragedy into a political issue . . . I hope other politicians will not use this issue to politicise, incite and turn the nation to chaos.”

Responding yesterday via email, Cambodia National Rescue Party president Sam Rainsy said Hun Sen was adding “insult to injury and death” and had gone beyond “any possible limit on indecency”.

After again reiterating his accusation of government involvement, he also added that Kem Ley had actually been helping the CNRP with policy development and consulting, which he alleged “might have contributed to his murder”.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Thy Sovantha threatens new suit

    Social media celebrity and card-carrying CPP member Thy Sovantha yesterday said she will file a lawsuit against wildlife NGO head Suwanna Gauntlett alleging discrimination after the latter allegedly denied her access to an ecotourism program the group is launching today in Koh Kong province. The

  • Police raid Siem Reap party, arrest 10 foreigners over ‘pornographic’ images

    A group of 10 foreign tourists appeared in court today after being arrested for producing “pornographic” photos in Siem Reap town on Thursday, while dozens more were detained temporarily and let go after being lectured on their behaviour, according to authorities. A report posted to the

  • Hun Sen’s in-law removed from RCAF after cockfighting rings raided

    Thai Phany, the nephew-in-law of Prime Minister Hun Sen who is accused of running two large cockfighting rings, has been removed as a general in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. Phany, formerly a one-star brigadier general, was removed by royal decree on December 19, according to

  • Government approves plan to relocate Phnom Penh’s airport

    The government has signed off on a proposal to build a new airport to serve Phnom Penh and has earmarked land in Kandal province for the $1.5 billion project. A new international airport to replace the existing Phnom Penh International Airport will be constructed on partially