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Call for 1997 grenade attack justice

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times Share:
People mark the anniversary of the attack by honouring the victims. Mar Chetra

Candlelight Party president Teav Vannol on Saturday called for justice to be provided to all victims of the 1997 grenade attack on supporters of former opposition party leader Sam Rainsy that killed 16 people and injured more than 200.

On March 30, 1997, four grenades were thrown into a crowd of people during a rally led by Mr Rainsy.

At the time, the Khmer National Party was leading a series of protests, demanding the courts to work fairly and transparently, and not to discriminate between high-ranking officials and everyday citizens.

As of today, no one has been held accountable for the crime.

Mr Vannol made the call during a small memorial ceremony marking the 22nd anniversary of the attack.

Mr Vannol was surrounded by former opposition party supporters and relatives of the victims. Most people who attended the ceremony lit candles and made offerings.

“I hope that the government will find justice for the victims who were killed in the grenade attack on March 30, 1997,” Mr Vannol said.

He noted that the Justice Ministry is still investigating the decades-old case, while the US’ Federal Bureau of Investigations has finished its own investigation because an American was injured in the attack.

Justice Ministry spokesman Chin Malin yesterday said “the authorities are still investigating the case”, adding that those with information that could help the case should come forward.

“We appeal to all that if you have evidence, please share it with the authorities so that they can bring the perpetrator to justice,” Mr Malin said.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said the attack which happened in front of the former National Assembly building was Mr Rainsy’s fault for holding a rally.

“Despite the fact that it’s been more than 20 years, the victims are still haunted by the violent demonstrations that was held by their leader,” he said.

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