Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chevron calls request for Ley evidence ‘moot’



Chevron calls request for Ley evidence ‘moot’

Police officials investigate the crime scene where political analyst Kem Ley was shot dead at a Caltex service station in Phnom Penh last year.
Police officials investigate the crime scene where political analyst Kem Ley was shot dead at a Caltex service station in Phnom Penh last year. Hong Menea

Chevron calls request for Ley evidence ‘moot’

Petroleum giant Chevron is trying to back out of an agreement to hand over documents potentially related to the assassination of political analyst Kem Ley that were requested by Sam Rainsy, claiming the former opposition leader would use them for nonlegal reasons amounting to “Facebook fodder”.

Chevron, which owns the Caltex station where Ley was gunned down on July 10 last year, said Rainsy’s “insistence on non-litigation use of the documents” raised “a red flag”.

The discovery request was made in relation to two court cases – Rainsy’s defamation conviction over his claims Ley’s murder was an act of “state-sponsored terrorism”, and an International Criminal Court case accusing Cambodian officials of crimes against humanity.

In statements filed on September 1 that were made available this week, the company questions whether Rainsy will actually appeal his defamation conviction. It also criticises him for telling local media that he would not do so, while then claiming to the company at the end of August that the filing of an appeal was imminent.

“Chevron’s concern for the misuse of its subsidiaries’ internal documents and abuse of the discovery process has been further confirmed by the revelation that Mr. Rainsy continues to demand documents even though his appeal is now over and he has publicly stated that he has no intention of litigating further in Cambodia,” Chevron said. “The end of Mr. Rainsy’s Cambodian proceeding renders this . . . proceeding moot, depriving the Court of jurisdiction.”

Chevron went on to say its employees should not “be put in the position of becoming Facebook fodder to further objectives unrelated to litigating the designated foreign proceedings”. The statements barely touched on the ICC case, except to say that Chevron does not believe the discovery request applies to it.

Lawyers for Rainsy and the ICC plaintiffs, however, dismissed Chevron’s arguments.

“Chevron attempts to bolster its position by citing supposed ‘security’ concerns justifying deviation from the August 4 Order . . . The argument is a red herring,” they wrote, adding that Chevron would burden them by placing “a gag” on the discussion of evidence and non-confidential material, such as communications from Cambodian officials and descriptions of footage of the incident.

“Chevron’s allegations are misguided and attacks on Mr. Sam [Rainsy] unprofessional,” they said, adding Rainsy “unequivocally continues to exercise his appellate rights”.

California Northern District Judge Donna Ryu will hold a hearing on the matter on September 28.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from