GETS LIFE IN JAIL
Leang Samnath said Oeuth Ang, 44, was “sentenced to life imprisonment for premeditated murder and possession of a gun without permission”.
The killer, who throughout has insisted the court address him by his nickname Chuob Samlab, which in Khmer means “meet to kill” — a moniker given to him during his years as a soldier — was calm as he heard his sentence.
He had previously told the court he shot his victim twice, including in the head, but had expressed “regret” over the murder.
The ruling is unlikely to bring closure to Kem Ley’s family or his sea of supporters, who believe United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund Vietnam’s child expert, Vijaya Ratnam Raman, said.
“They may be shamed, or blame themselves. There may be threats of violence, and, sometimes, they don’t have faith in the situation and the system,” he added.
Cultural factors also discourage the murder was politically motivated.
“It is a show trial arranged by the court and the government. I want justice for Kem Ley,” said Sar Sorn, a land rights activist, yesterday.
Tens of thousands turned out for Kem Ley’s funeral in scenes that rattled the government of ruling strongman Hun Sen.
The prime minister’s morethan-three-decade rule has seen multiple critics murdered in unresolved cases, especially in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Rights group said he had used strongarm tactics to choke off dissent and hobble his rivals as a national election slated for 2018 approaches.
The crackdown has seen a slew of rival politicians and rights activists swept up in court cases, leaving an opposition party that made major gains in the previous poll facing an uphill battle.
Kem Ley was an articulate and prominent critic of Cambodian politicians of all colours.
Before his death, he set up a grassroots political movement, but it has since pulled plans to field candidates in looming local elections set for June.
In the days before his death, he gave interviews on a report alleging Hun Sen’s family had amassed huge wealth. AFP victims from speaking out in a country where children do not receive adequate sex education.
“Everybody is hesitant to talk about rape, forced sex and sexual abuse,” said Khuat Thu Hong, director of the Institute for Social Development Studies.
“We have to break that culture.” AFP
Police escorting Oeuth Ang (second from left) at the Phnom Penh municipal court yesterday.
Nga, mother of the abused girl, showing the place where her daughter was molested in a residential quarter in Hanoi.