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Chevron seeks to quash subpoena for Kem Ley murder footage

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 seeks to quash subpoena for Kem Ley murder footage

Chevron has officially filed a motion to quash a California court’s subpoena demanding the release of CCTV footage of political analyst Kem Ley’s murder, maintaining, as it has in the past, that it no longer has any copies of the video.

“Chevron Corporation filed a motion on March 31 to quash this subpoena and vacate an order for discovery related to foreign court proceedings. The video recording that appears to be the principal object sought by the applicants was seized by Cambodian police authorities within hours of the incident and has not been returned,” Chevron spokesman Cameron Van Ast said via email yesterday.

Lawyer Eva Schueller filed the subpoena on Sam Rainsy’s behalf in February.

Ley was murdered last July at a Chevron-owned Caltex station in what many believe to have been a politically motivated assassination. While the gunman in the shooting, an ex-soldier named Oeut Ang, was sentenced to life in prison last month, the ruling did little to quell suspicions that he did not act alone.

Rainsy, meanwhile, has claimed the murder was a government-sponsored hit, a position that saw him slapped with a defamation conviction last week. Rainsy and Schueller believe the footage will help prove his claim and therefore absolve him of the defamation charge.

The subpoena also requested all Caltex documents and recordings that related to the murder or the video recording. Schueller confirmed yesterday that Chevron had filed the motion, and would only say that her team is working on a response.

Khieu Sopheak, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, acknowledged that police took a copy of the videotape following the murder, and said he did not know if Chevron had any additional copies.

Asked if the footage would be returned to Chevron or sent to the US court, Sopheak said police no longer had control of the video.

“The evidence we collected has already been sent to the court, you have to ask the court,” he said.

Representatives of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court could not be reached.

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