Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New probe in Hy Vuthy case

New probe in Hy Vuthy case

New probe in Hy Vuthy case

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has ordered a reinvestigation of the 2007 murder of union activist Hy Vuthy, a case that has followed the dubious pattern seen in previous killings of labour leaders.

Hy Vuthy, president of the Free Trade Union at the Suntex garment factory in Dangkor district, was shot at 5:15am on February 24, 2007, while returning home from a shift. He was the third FTU representative to have been killed in three years, after factory representative Ros Sovannareth and FTU head Chea Vichea were gunned down in 2004.

Earlier this year, the court charged two suspects in the case: Chan Sophorn and Phal Vannak, both 32 and both former colleagues of Hy Vuthy who remain at large. The men were tried in absentia last month, but the cursory hearing lacked sufficient evidence on which to convict them, presiding judge Ke Sakhorn said yesterday.

“The reason why the court has ordered the reinvestigation of Hy Vuthy’s case is because there were not enough evidence and reports at the trial,” he said. “It lacked witnesses, evidence, an autopsy, a death certificate and other related reports.”

Police have been ordered to arrest the suspects ahead of the next hearing in the case, Ke Sakhorn added.

Neang Hay, a court-appointed lawyer for the suspects, said there was no evidence linking his clients to the crimes, and called for the court to drop the charges. “There were no witnesses or evidence demonstrating that my clients had been involved,” he said.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ordered the provisional release of Thach Saveth, who had been convicted of Ros Savannareth’s murder in 2005 despite his claims that he was traveling in
Northwestern Cambodia at the time. That case has in turn drawn comparisons to that of Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun, two men who were convicted under dubious circumstances for the murder of Chea Vichea before being released pending a new investigation in 2009, having served nearly five years in prison.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Bun Heang mocks US, threatens its citizens in scathing open letter

    After being hit with sanctions from the US Department of Treasury, Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang said he would retaliate against any US national who does not respect his country’s sovereignty, has ambitions to invade Cambodia or incites “traitors” in the Kingdom to do

  • Police warn boycott FB group involved in the “Clean Fingers Campaign”

    Police said on Tuesday that they will pick up members of a Facebook group involved in the “Clean Fingers Campaign” that promotes a boycott of next month’s national elections. However, police merely planned to “educate” the group for now, but warned that if the

  • Ranariddh 'seriously injured', his wife dies in accident in Preah Sihanouk

    THE wife of former first prime minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh has died. Ouk Phalla succumbed to injuries sustained in a traffic accident on National Road 4 in Preah Sihanouk’s Prey Nub district this morning. She and the prince were immediately rushed to the Preah Sihanouk