Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - MoI says Kem Ley murder probe slowed by ‘stubborn suspect’




MoI says Kem Ley murder probe slowed by ‘stubborn suspect’

Phnom Penh police stand next to Oeut Ang, the alleged murderer of political analyst Kem Ley, after he was arrested last month. Photo supplied
Phnom Penh police stand next to Oeut Ang, the alleged murderer of political analyst Kem Ley, after he was arrested last month. Photo supplied

MoI says Kem Ley murder probe slowed by ‘stubborn suspect’

The Ministry of Interior yesterday blamed the lack of progress in the investigation into the murder of political analyst Kem Ley on the reluctance of chief suspect “Choub Samlab”, suggesting former Khmer Rouge torture chief Kaing Guek Eav, aka Duch, might be able to loosen his tongue.

More than a month has passed since the high-profile killing, allegedly committed by Oeut Ang, who identified himself by the alias translating to “meet to kill”.

Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said no other suspects had been arrested.

“I hope the court will hold the trial very soon and it is a public trial,” Sopheak said. “Samdech [Sar Kheng] did not believe his name was really Choub Samlab. There is no parent who would name their child Choub Samlab.

“[He] did not confess and was stubborn, because, from what I understand, our law cannot do anything to him unless we do it in a peaceful way. What I understand is, if we call in Comrade Duch, he would make a confession.”

At least 12,000 people lost their lives at the S-21 prison under Duch’s command, with many subjected to torture to extract confessions.

Political analyst Ou Virak said the jibe was “not appropriate”.

“We have got to take the case seriously. This is a killing and the family deserves justice,” he said. “They need to build transparency that is lacking now. I think most people do not have confidence in the investigation.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Man Covid-19 positive after Thailand trip

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday reported the third Covid-19 case in less than two weeks, bringing the total to 125. The man, a 26-year-old from Tbong Khmum province's Tbong Khmum district, arrived at the O'Beichoan border checkpoint in Banteay Meanchey province on Thursday. He is

  • Kingdom's GDP growth to narrow -1% to -2.9%, World Bank says

    The World Bank expects further recoil on Cambodia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth to between minus one per cent and minus 2.9 per cent for 2020 as its main growth drivers – tourism, manufacturing exports and construction – take a beating due to Covid-19, its latest economic update

  • Vietnam: Tougher sentences for child abusers

    Several National Assembly (NA) deputies in Vietnam are calling for tougher penalties to be handed down to child abusers. They hope stricter punishments will act as a strong deterrent to prevent offenders committing further offences in the future. Extreme measures such as chemical castration were

  • Central bank to shun small US banknotes

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is considering not accepting smaller denominated US dollar banknotes – $1, $2 and $5 – from banks and microfinance institutions (MFIs) which it said are flooding its stockpile as the demand for those notes is low. While some banking insiders welcomed the move as

  • PM lauded in Covid-19 fight

    World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sent a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen thanking him for following the WHO’s guidance and commending Cambodia’s efforts in the fight against Covid-19. In his letter made public by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • Workers return, hope for salaries

    More than 600 factory workers in the capital’s Chaom Chao commune in Por Sen Chey district returned to work after the factory’s owner promised to pay their salaries in instalments until the middle of next month. On Tuesday and Wednesday, more than 600 workers gathered