Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - K Sokha pays respects to murdered gov’t critic

K Sokha pays respects to murdered gov’t critic

Monks stand in front of a truck carrying Kem Ley’s statue at Chroy Changvar’s Wat Chas in Phnom Penh late last year.
Monks stand in front of a truck carrying Kem Ley’s statue at Chroy Changvar’s Wat Chas in Phnom Penh late last year. Heng Chivoan

K Sokha pays respects to murdered gov’t critic

Acting Cambodia National Rescue Party president Kem Sokha met with the family of slain political activist Kem Ley in Takeo province on Saturday, with a party spokesman saying only the opposition would be able to conduct an independent investigation into the prominent government critic’s murder.

Sokha, who was holed up at party headquarters avoiding arrest at the time of Ley’s death in July, met with the activist’s brother and mother, later taking to Facebook to recollect his past interactions with Ley. “The last time we met, we spent a long time debating decentralisation policy for the commune council elections in 2017,” Sokha wrote in a Facebook post. “Kem Ley suggested to me to decentralise power to the people.”

Ley was shot by former soldier Ouet Ang, who confessed to the killing, saying it was over a $3,000 debt. However, police have since said they believe others to be involved in the plot, though they have never produced alternative suspects or motives.

The court investigation into the case was closed in late December, with court spokesman Ly Sophanna yesterday saying legal procedures were being followed and refusing to comment on a potential trial date.

Meanwhile, CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann yesterday said the court “should not have closed the criminal investigation”, and vowed an investigation under any future CNRP government.

Ley’s brother, Kem Rithiseth, said he appreciated Sokha’s call for justice, but the matter was in the government’s hands.

MOST VIEWED

  • Reuters: US Embassy fired 32 staff members for sharing pornography

    The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh has fired 32 non-diplomatic staff members who were allegedly caught exchanging pornographic images and video, including of minors, according to the news agency Reuters. Four sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the content was shared in

  • Our 2018 guide to spending Khmer New Year in Phnom Penh

    Khmer New Year festivities are upon us. For the next few days, travellers will be making their way to their home provinces to eat, celebrate, play traditional games and visit a pagoda with offerings. If you will be staying put in Phnom Penh for the

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the