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National Assembly body eyes Kem Ley probe

A procession marking 100 days since Kem Ley’s death travels along Monivong Boulevard this month.
A procession marking 100 days since Kem Ley’s death travels along Monivong Boulevard this month. Hong Menea

National Assembly body eyes Kem Ley probe

Members of Kem Ley’s funeral committee are backing a call by the chairman of the National Assembly’s human rights commission to publicly question officials about the investigation into the political analyst’s July murder.

Eng Chhay Eang, a CNRP lawmaker and the commission chair, told local media that the investigation into the longtime government critic’s shooting death is moving too slowly, and that the ministers of interior and justice should be questioned on the assembly floor as a result.

In response, activist monk But Buntenh, a member of the funeral committee, said the committee would support the move, and urged for more transparency in the investigation.

“I think it’s a fantastic idea to hold a public questioning, and there should be as many people as possible involved in the process,” Buntenh said, adding that the video from the gas station where the murder took place should be released to the public.

Meanwhile, Moeun Tola, another member of Ley’s funeral committee, said he suspects the authorities are not serious about finding those responsible for the murder.

“We haven’t been happy with the investigation from the beginning, and there are many reasons we think the suspect is not the real killer,” Tola said, adding that Ley’s murder resembles those of slain labour leader Chea Vichea and environmental activist Chut Vuthy.

“After [the murder], the authorities immediately removed the [petrol station] video and it seems their intention is to cover up evidence,” Tola added.

Only hours after Ley’s murder, police released a video-taped confession in which Oeuth Ang, a 44-year-old former soldier, said he had killed the analyst over a $3,000 debt, a tale dismissed by colleagues and family members as preposterous.

Eng Chhay Eng could not be reached for comment.

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