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Rainsy again calls on Chevron to release records in Kem Ley killing

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Police investigate the scene where political analyst Kem Ley was shot dead at a Caltex service station in Phnom Penh last year. Hong Menea

Rainsy again calls on Chevron to release records in Kem Ley killing

Former Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy has once again called upon petrol giant Chevron to release records and documents he believes could be crucial to uncovering potential accomplices in the murder of political analyst Kem Ley.

Ley was shot dead in broad daylight on July 10 last year at a Caltex petrol station, which is owned by Chevron.

Shooter Oeut Ang who gave his name as Choub Samlab (Khmer for “Meet to Kill”), was convicted of premeditated murder and sentenced to life in prison in March. However, Rainsy and multiple human rights observers suspect government involvement in the assassination.

In a document filed on May 4 to a court in California, where Chevron is based, Rainsy’s lawyers – along with the plaintiffs in a case before the International Criminal Court accusing the Cambodian government of human rights abuses – objected to Chevron’s motion to quash a request for potential evidence.

“Instead of providing access to documents and eyewitness information, Chevron has filed a tome of merit less theories seeking to enable it to continue to withhold evidence about the assassination,” the filing read.

It further stated Chevron had employed “blunderbuss” and “spurious theories” to “create needless expense and delay” and “throw sand into the gears of discovery”.

In addition to video footage of the killing, which Chevron has said it no longer has because it was given to the government, Rainsy’s lawyers are requesting the names of managers and employees, especially those who were terminated or resigned between the day of Ley’s murder and July 31.

Chevron was unable to respond to a request for comment by deadline. Their response to the court is due on May 11.

Ang’s lawyer, Yung Phanith, said fresh evidence wouldn’t necessarily help his client, who had already confessed and pleaded guilty.

“If it is more evidence that goes against what he said, that is not a benefit to my client,” he said.

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