As people prepare to mark the third anniversary of the murder of political analyst Kem Ley, a CPP official yesterday accused critics of using Mr Ley’s death for political gain.
Mr Ley was murdered on July 10, 2016 at a Caltex gas station in Phnom Penh as he was having coffee. He left behind a wife and five sons, who were later granted refugee status from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees following his murder.
Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy yesterday on Facebook renewed accusations that it was the government who was behind Mr Ley’s murder.
“The assassination of Dr Kem Ley in Phnom Penh was on 10th of July, 2016,” Mr Rainsy said. “Hun Sen was the mastermind of this political murder.”
Sok Eysan, CPP spokesman, yesterday said former CNRP members are evil for accusing the government of being behind Mr Ley’s murder.
“Based on Khmer belief, people need to conduct a funeral for the dead person, but some politicians took this opportunity to gain political advantage from the deceased,” Mr Eysan said. “They are using many means, such as selling statues for money.”
“I pity the spirit of Dr Kem Ley. When he was alive, his knowledge was used to serve their [CNRP] political interest. When he died, those evil people are still evoking his spirit to serve their political ambitions,” he added. “I wish the soul of Dr Kem Ley may rest in peace and then curse those who aim to gain political interest from his spirit.”
Last week, the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights marked Mr Ley’s death by posting a series of his quotes on social media.
“Today’s quote is: ‘You will also be victimised even if you do nothing. It’s just a matter of time,’” one post on Friday said.
Former friends and students of Mr Ley earlier this week announced they will mark the third anniversary of his death by honouring him at the gas station where he was gunned down despite a warning not to do so by City Hall.
Oeuth Ang, known as Chuop Samlap, was sentenced to life in prison by Phnom Penh Municipal Court after he was found guilty of gunning down Mr Ley. Mr Ang said the murder was over an unpaid $3,000 debt.
Lao Mong Hay, a political analyst and former colleague of Mr Ley, yesterday on Facebook reiterated that he does not believe Mr Ang’s testimony.
“I still don’t believe he owed $3,000 from the killer and then refused to pay him, [which led to the assassination],” Mr Mong Hay said. “Does his value of life equal to $3,000? Can we [believe] the killer’s testimony?”