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Alleged Kem Ley Killer Could Face Life in Prison


Photos of analyst Kem Ley at his funeral ceremony in Buddhist pagoda Wat Kdei Chas, in the outskirt of Phnom Penh, on Monday, July 11, 2016. (Hean Socheata/VOA Khmer)

Photos of analyst Kem Ley at his funeral ceremony in Buddhist pagoda Wat Kdei Chas, in the outskirt of Phnom Penh, on Monday, July 11, 2016. (Hean Socheata/VOA Khmer)

Media reports have identified the main suspect as Oueth Ang, 43, a resident of Angkor Chum commune in Siem Reap province.

The Phnom Penh Municipal court on Wednesday charged the suspected murderer of social analyst Kem Ley with premeditated murder and the illegal possession of a lethal weapon, a court spokesman said.

Ly Sophanna added that the court had also charged a second individual for furnishing the murder suspect with the weapon allegedly used to fatally shoot Ley while he stopped for a coffee at a gas station convenience store on Sunday morning.

Sophanna did not reveal the name of the suspect charged with selling the weapon.

Media reports have identified the main suspect as Oueth Ang, 43, a resident of Angkor Chum commune in Siem Reap province.

Ang has maintained to police that his name is “Choub Samlab, which literally means “meet to kill” in Khmer.

In a statement to journalists Sophanna said: “After questioning and examining the documents and evidence in the murder case of Kem Ley, the prosecutor charged the suspect on the count of premeditated murder and illegal possession of a weapon according to article 200 and 490 of the criminal code, and charges the individual who sold the weapon to the suspect on the count of illegal sale of a weapon according to article 20 of the law on weapons and explosives management. The case has been sent to investigative judges for further procedures.”

If he is found guilty Ang could receive a life sentence.

General Khieu Sopheak, spokesman at the Ministry of Interior, said police had thoroughly examined the crime scene and retrieved closed-circuit television camera recordings from the site.

“The Ministry of Interior already collected evidence and examined the crime scene, arrested the suspect, took the CCTV cameras and did some questioning into the identity of the suspect. We did all this in 24 hours. On Monday, we sent the case to the Phnom Penh Municipal court.”

Ang’s wife, Hoeum Huth, 45, was quoted in an Associated Press report as saying she was “shocked when I saw his picture on TV, and they said he was the killer.”

Chuon Sovann, Phnom Penh police chief, and National Police spokesman Kirt Chantharith could not be reached.

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