Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Who does Kem Ley's killing ‘benefit’, asks PM

Who does Kem Ley's killing ‘benefit’, asks PM

Hun Sen speaks during an inauguration ceremony yesterday, where he warned against calling Kem Ley’s death political. Photo supplied
Hun Sen speaks during an inauguration ceremony yesterday, where he warned against calling Kem Ley’s death political. Photo supplied

Who does Kem Ley's killing ‘benefit’, asks PM

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday called for calm in the wake of the slaying of political analyst Kem Ley, though appeared to cast aspersions in the direction of the opposition party by asking “who benefited” from a crime that made the government look bad.

Speaking to a gathering of military police, the premier again condemned Sunday’s shooting of the prominent government critic and called for authorities to find and punish the perpetrators or “conspiracy” behind the murder, while also announcing the government would begin a “campaign” to clamp down on crime and increase security.

While 44-year-old suspect Oeut Ang claimed he shot Ley over a debt in a confession video uploaded just hours after the crime, many were quick to label the slaying political, among them opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who flatly accused the state of involvement, while noting past assassinations of government critics.

Yesterday, Hun Sen also discussed the possibility of a political motive behind the killing, though not the government’s.

“This is a huge loss and impacts the government’s image. Who gains to benefit from such a case which happened at the same time the government is talking about peace and safety for the people? . . . This point seems to be a mockery of us,” Hun Sen said.

“On the one hand, the government suffers a huge impact for the image created of a lack of so-called competence in providing security, and on the other hand, the issue has immediately been painted a colour [suggesting] political characteristics.

“Therefore, I hope that our people will allow the competent ministries and institutions to work thoroughly and avoid turning this tragedy into a political issue . . . I hope other politicians will not use this issue to politicise, incite and turn the nation to chaos.”

Responding yesterday via email, Cambodia National Rescue Party president Sam Rainsy said Hun Sen was adding “insult to injury and death” and had gone beyond “any possible limit on indecency”.

After again reiterating his accusation of government involvement, he also added that Kem Ley had actually been helping the CNRP with policy development and consulting, which he alleged “might have contributed to his murder”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Shanxi wins bid to build sections of new Siem Reap airport

    Shanxi Mechanization Construction Group recently won the bid to build two sections of the new Siem Reap Angkor International Airport project in Cambodia for 290 million yuan ($42.16 million). The existing Angkor International Airport in Siem Reap, 5km from the famous ancient temple complex and world tourism

  • Cambodia rejects call by UN for open invite

    Cambodia has rejected a UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) recommendation submitted by five countries at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) calling on the Kingdom to issue a standing invitation to UN special procedures to visit at any time. The rejection was part of the 25 recommendations

  • Cambodia’s medical system is due for a check-up

    In Cambodia, many high-ranking government officials and public figures seek medical treatment abroad – including Prime Minister Hun Sen. With this in mind, it is not surprising that many locals also seem to often distrust local healthcare facilities. Cambodia has one of the fastest growing economies

  • VIP prison scrapped amid much criticism

    The Ministry of Interior announced on Thursday that Cambodia’s first privately run prison, which was to allow prisoners with enough money to upgrade to more comfortable cells, has been scrapped. Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said studies had found that no other country in the