Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ley's suspected murderer was sleepless the night before, wife says

Ley's suspected murderer was sleepless the night before, wife says

Hoeum Hout sits at a residence in Siem Reap’s Angkor Chum district earlier this week with a portrait of her husband, Oeut Ang.
Hoeum Hout sits at a residence in Siem Reap’s Angkor Chum district earlier this week with a portrait of her husband, Oeut Ang. Thik Kaliyann

Ley's suspected murderer was sleepless the night before, wife says

The man who allegedly gunned down political analyst Kem Ley on Sunday rang his wife several times the night before from a guesthouse to say he “could not sleep”, according to local police who have interviewed the family.

Oeut Ang, 44, was charged on Wednesday with premeditated murder and illegally possessing a weapon after allegedly shooting the activist with a Glock handgun as he drank coffee at a gas station in Phnom Penh.

Though Ang said in a recorded video confession broadcast on television that he shot Ley because the critic owed him money, the members of the suspect’s family, including his wife and mother, have noted the suspect had never mentioned Ley or a debt.

As speculation swirls about a political motive and state involvement, district and provincial police have spent several hours grilling Ang’s family, including his wife Hoeum Hout, 45, who lives in Nokor Pheas commune in Siem Reap province’s Angkor Chum district.

Speaking yesterday, Angkor Chum district police chief Mann Sokhab said Hout told them the suspect – who according to his family left the commune for Phnom Penh on July 1 – had a largely sleepless night before the murder.

“He had called his wife five times to say that he could not sleep,” said Sokhab.

“The wife asked where he slept and he told her that he slept at the guesthouse . . . The last time he called was 3am to again tell her he couldn’t sleep.”

Sokhab said that three days before the shooting, Ang had also been in touch with a friend at an environmental NGO at which he had worked to tell him that he had “got a job” in Phnom Penh.

Chhoeun Thoeng, village chief of Nokor Pheas II where the suspect lived, said district and provincial police officers had spent several hours interrogating Hout to establish the suspect’s background. However, Siem Reap provincial police chief Sort Nady denied his officers had questioned the family.

Meanwhile, prosecutor handling the case Ly Sophanna yesterday again declined to identify a second suspect charged on Wednesday with selling the firearm to Ang, saying it would impact the investigation.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the