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Call to investigate union leader’s murder

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Unionist celebrate the 14th anniversary of slain former union leader Chea Vichea. KT/Khy Sovuthy

Unionists, workers and civil society organisations on Monday asked authorities to find the murderers of prominent union leader Chea Vichea as they marked the anniversary of his death.

More than 50 Unionists, workers and civil society organisations on Monday marked the anniversary of his killing, but this year the number of participants was down from previous years.

Chea Mony, the young brother of the late union leader, was absent from the gathering on Monday morning as he had been summoned for questioning at court.

Chea Vichea had just bought his morning newspapers on January 22, 2004, when an unmasked man walked up and fired two shots at the popular union leader, killing him instantly. More than 10,000 supporters turned out for his funeral procession.

Police quickly arrested two men, Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun, days after the killing, but a judge dismissed the case due to a lack of evidence.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court overturned that decision, however, and both were sentenced to 20 years in jail for the murder in August 2005.

Mr Samnang and Mr Sam Oeun – long considered to be scapegoats – were exonerated by the Supreme Court in September 2013 and freed. Despite police saying the investigation into Chea Vichea’s murder had been reopened, there has been no indication of progress since then.

According to a statement from the Free Trade Union issued on January 22 and signed by FTU president Touch Soeu, no one has been caught and punished in the case of Chea Vichea’s murder 14 years ago.

“The FTU appeals and requests judicial authorities, especially the government, to investigate by the correct procedures to find the real murderers and the people behind the murder of Chea Vichea and punish them under the law,” the statement said.

Full story in Tuesday’s paper.

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