Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kem Ley’s killer met with gov’t officials, report says

Kem Ley’s killer met with gov’t officials, report says

Oeut Ang at the Phnom Penh Municipal Police headquarters after he was arrested for the murder of political analyst Kem Ley.
Oeut Ang at the Phnom Penh Municipal Police headquarters after he was arrested for the murder of political analyst Kem Ley. Photo supplied

Kem Ley’s killer met with gov’t officials, report says

Oeut Ang, the former soldier and ex-monk charged with gunning down political analyst Kem Ley, met with district and military officials about a week prior to the murder, a report by Al Jazeera has alleged.

In a video report released on Friday, the news outlet says they spoke to multiple sources in Ang’s native Siem Reap province who said the suspect was called to a meeting with “senior district and military officials” about a week before Ley was shot dead in a Phnom Penh gas station on July 10.

“Straight after the meeting [Ang] was put in a car and driven out of the area,” stated the report, which said the sources declined to appear on camera.

Despite a six-month investigation, which closed in December, police have failed to provide any clarity about the circumstances surrounding the slaying, including how Ang travelled from his home in Nokor Pheas commune in Siem Reap’s Angkor Chum district to the capital.

Al Jazeera spoke with a taxi driver, who they said was among the last people to see Ang in Siem Reap.

The man, identified as Deuk Dian, said he dropped the suspect at a taxi stand on the outskirts of Siem Reap town, where he was picked up by a Lexus.

“He was in a hurry, he didn’t even pay my taxi fare,” the driver said.

Ang was caught about 1.5 kilometres from the murder scene. Police quickly released a video confession, in which he claimed to have killed Ley over a $3,000 debt.

That motive, however, is widely doubted, with those close to Ley and the alleged killer saying the pair had never met, while many have noted that Ang had little money. Many believe the critic’s murder was a political assassination.

Reached yesterday, Angkor Chum district police chief Mann Sokhab denied there was any meeting between Ang and military or government officials.

Sokhab said that, as a monk, Ang had previously travelled to Phnom Penh and received money for pagoda renovations, though he said he did not know who supplied the cash.

“We just know that he went to Phnom Penh and became a murderer,” Sokhab said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Archaeologists find ancient remnant

    A team from the Apsara National Authority (ANA) has discovered a gatekeeper statue’s foot fragment at the Tonle Snguot Temple, within a metre of the toe of a statue found in 2017. ANA spokesman Long Kosal told The Post on Wednesday that the fragment was

  • Hun Sen to the rescue

    Cambodia has won praise for allowing passengers of the MS Westerdam cruise ship to dock at Preah Sihanouk port, thanks to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s humanitarian act. In a message via Twitter on Wednesday, the director-general of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu

  • EU partially withdraws EBA

    The EU Commission on Wednesday announced the partial withdrawal of the Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme, citing a serious and systematic violation by Cambodia of principles in the four core human and labour rights. The suspension affects one-fifth or €1 billion ($1.08 billion) of Cambodia’s annual

  • Japan calls for policy changes

    Representatives of Japanese companies and investors on Wednesday submitted a list of policy recommendations to the government concerning 21 challenges to the Kingdom’s business climate. Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami and leaders of the Japanese Business Association in Cambodia (JBAC), Japan International Cooperation Agency

  • Still no word about EBA but rice likely unaffected

    Officials on Monday said the government had not received an official statement regarding the EU’s potential withdrawal of Cambodia’s Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme. The EU launched the EBA withdrawal procedure on February 12, citing “a deterioration of democracy [and] respect for human rights”

  • Hate worse than virus, PM says

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday criticised countries that have cancelled flights with China following the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), arguing that such moves amounted to discrimination against the Chinese. In a speech delivered during the groundbreaking ceremony for work on national roads 2