Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Moeun Tola quizzed over Ley fund



Moeun Tola quizzed over Ley fund

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Labour rights activist Moeun Tola speaks to the press last year outside Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Heng Chivoan

Moeun Tola quizzed over Ley fund

Labour rights advocate and executive director of the Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights (Central) Moeun Tola was questioned by Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Friday over embezzlement allegations relating to the funeral funds of slain political analyst Kem Ley.

Tola, Pa Nguon Teang, the founder and executive director of the Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM), and Buth Buntenh, the founder of the Independent Monks Network, are accused of wrongdoing by Pich Sros, chief of the Cambodian Youth Party.

Khun Tharo, a program coordinator at Central, an NGO, said Tola, who was charged by the prosecutor over the allegations, was questioned for over an hour by an investigating judge. He is currently waiting to hear if the judge agrees with the prosecutor to proceed to trial.

“If the investigating judge decides to drop the charges, he will issue a formal statement. But the judge also needs the prosecutor’s consent for this, and if the latter agrees, the case will not proceed,” Tharo said.

Tola could not be reached for comment on Sunday, while Ham Sunrith, his defence lawyer, declined to comment.

William Conklin, country director at labour advocacy NGO Solidarity Center, said he hopes the court will decide to drop the charges against Tola.

“I think it will be a good thing if the court drops the charges and solves this case quickly. There are many people watching this case. But the court is just following procedure. Even so, we hope to have a solution soon,” he said.

Bou Rachana, Ley’s widow, has previously told The Post that she did not recognise or agree with the complaint. She said Sros is not a family member and would therefore not know anything about the funeral fund.

“The allegation is unreasonable. Sros has done this to discredit Buntenh, Nguon Teang and Tola,” Rachana said.

This year, some companies and prominent buyers’ associations, including the VF Corporation in the United States, sent a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen asking for a review of the case and others that allegedly contravene human rights in the country.

Recently, the Ministry of Labour also sent a letter to the court requesting that the charges against Tola be dropped.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • PM asks India for vaccine help

    Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking assistance from India for the provision of Covid-19 vaccines as the country has produced its own vaccine which is scheduled to be rolled out to more than 300 million Indians this year. The request was made during his meeting with

  • Cambodia, India agree to start direct flights, tourism exchanges

    Cambodia and India have agreed to start direct flight connections and promote closer tourism exchanges and cooperation in all areas after the Covid-19 saga comes to a close. The agreement was reached during a meeting between Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and newly-minted Indian

  • Plastic-to-rice initiative transforms waste into bricks

    Volunteers in Kampong Khlaing commune of Siem Reap province’s Sotr Nikum district have been collecting plastic waste to use as a raw material for the production of bricks and clemence tiles. The volunteers are hoping that, in addition to helping clean up the environment,