The Ministry of Interior will not register the Kem Ley Party under its current name, it confirmed yesterday, citing a ban on parties using individuals’ names, while a party representative accused a trio of activists facing charges of “destroying the dignity” of the slain analyst.
In announcing the formation of the party, Ley’s brother Kem Rithisith said it was created to prevent others from using his brother’s name for “political gain” and “greed”. In an interview with Voice of America on Saturday, he deferred to party co-founder and spokesman Kuch Ly when asked who he feared may defile his brother’s name.
Ly yesterday said activist monk But Buntenh, labour activist Moeun Tola and Cambodian Center for Independent Media head Pa Ngoung Teang had “colluded” with the family of Ley’s widow, Bou Rachana, and hurt his “dignity”.
The trio were charged with breach of trust in January for allegedly misappropriating Ley’s funeral funds, accusations dismissed by Rachana’s sister. Rithisith, meanwhile, has waffled between supporting the charges and criticising them.
“We know sister Rachana had limited knowledge,” Ly said, placing the majority of the blame on the funeral committee.
Rachana, who remained quiet while in Thailand seeking asylum, joined her sister yesterday in condemning the charges as groundless, asking “the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to dismiss all the accusations without conditions”.