On the first day of an Appeal Court hearing into the widely-questioned convictions over the murder of Chea Vichea, both sides called for a delay to proceedings so that the victim’s brother could find a lawyer.
In the final stanza of a case that has been fought since 2004, Chea Mony, the brother of slain union leader Chea Vichea, was granted his wish for a delay. He requested the pause as court officials had given him just one week’s notice to find a lawyer.
Presiding judge Chhoun Sunleng told the court yesterday the appeal would be adjourned until an unspecified date.
“Delaying the case was not the court’s decision but the suggestion of the lawyer for Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun and the lawyer for the plaintiff Chea Mony,” he said.
Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun are widely believed to have been framed for the shooting of the former Free Trade Union of Workers of Cambodia president as he read a newspaper near Phnom Penh’s Wat Lanka pagoda in 2004.
Their supporters argue that both men had multiple alibis and were convicted in a hearing where no witnesses or forensic evidence were examined.
The Supreme Court ordered a reinvestigation into the case in 2009 and released the men on bail.