Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Remembering Kem Ley




Remembering Kem Ley

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Friends of Kem Ley on Tuesday place a garland near the site where the political analyst was shot two years ago. Pha Lina

Remembering Kem Ley

Supporters of Kem Ley, including NGOs and youth groups, on Tuesday commemorated the second anniversary of the prominent political analyst’s death by shooting.

Many who attended called for the creation of a panel to further investigate the killing, with one saying he believed the man serving life in prison for the crime is a “fake killer” acting as a fall guy for powerful masterminds.

However, a Ministry of Justice spokesman said the request to establish such a panel is “impossible procedurally”.

A wreath was laid at the petrol station cafe on Monivong Boulevard where Ley, an outspoken critic of the government, was shot dead on July 10 , 2016.

Oeut Ang, who upon his arrest shortly after the shooting called himself Choub Samlab, or “meet to kill” in Khmer, was convicted of Ley’s murder and is serving a life sentence.

After laying the wreath, Cambodian Confederation of Unions president Rong Chhun said: “We are still shocked by Kem Ley’s death. He always spoke the truth about the social problems affecting the people. We will always respect his name and praise and remember his heroism.

“We can see the authorities [have convicted] Oeut Ang. But people regard Ang as a fake killer, so we want the Phnom Penh municipal authorities to create a committee to investigate the murder, find its masterminds and bring them to justice.”

He said the authorities could not find those behind the killings of several prominent personalities, including trade union leader Chea Vichea, environmental activist Chut Vuthy, and now Kem Ley, and claimed the deaths of the famous and influential remain unpunished because they involved powerful people.

“In the murders of famous people who helped society, the municipal authorities have not found the real killers and their masterminds to be punished under the law, and that makes people suspicious."

“To eliminate those suspicions, the authorities need to find the killers and their masterminds,” he said.

Justice Ministry spokesman Chin Malin said: “The request to establish an investigative committee is impossible procedurally because it is not legally correct and driven by political aims.

“This case is being processed by the court and the killer is being punished, with Oeut Ang sentenced to life in prison.”

Malin said authorities will reveal the results of the ongoing secondary probe into Ley’s death in due course when court procedures are completed.

Ang’s court-appointed lawyer Lor Kimgech said he had filed a Supreme Court appeal as requested by his client, but it has yet to set a trial date.

He said the decision to file the complaint came after the Appeal Court on May 11 upheld the verdict of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in sentencing his client to life in prison.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped

  • Kingdom, China rebut basis for US sanctions

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co Ltd (Tianjin) have responded to US sanctions on Union Development Group Co Ltd (UDG), a Chinese-owned company currently developing the sprawling $3.8 billion Dara

  • Influenza breaks out in eight provinces

    Nearly 600 people have been infected with influenza in eight provinces in the past month, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said. The ministry is advising extreme caution. A report released by Vandine on Saturday said the Ministry of Health observed transmissions of influenza between August 15

  • CNRP activist freed; Sam Rainsy pledges return to Kingdom

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday released former CNRP activist Oeur Narith on bail after the court ended its questioning on suspicion of receiving money from abroad and plotting to overthrow the government, according to the authorities. National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun confirmed

  • Hun Sen says developing nations ‘targets of rivalry’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen spoke at the virtual UN General Assembly on Monday, saying that developing nations often become targets of punishment for their imperfections when they don’t rise to the standards of developed countries. He said rivalries between superpowers often hamper developing countries’