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Court Closes Probe Into Killing of Prominent Government Critic


FILE - A girl stands by a portrait of Kem Ley, a Cambodian prominent political analyst, at his grave in Ang Takok, Cambodia, Nov. 20, 2016.

FILE - A girl stands by a portrait of Kem Ley, a Cambodian prominent political analyst, at his grave in Ang Takok, Cambodia, Nov. 20, 2016.

A statement from the court, which confirmed the case had been closed, was released a day after parliament declined to summon the interior minister, Sar Kheng, for questioning about the case.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has closed its investigation into the killing of prominent political commentator Kem Ley without revealing its findings.

Ley was shot on the morning of July 10 in Phnom Penh in broad daylight in what is widely believed to have been a political assassination.

One suspect, who claimed his name was Choub Samlab, which means “Meet Kill” in the Khmer language, was detained shortly after the incident and is being held on suspicion of murder.

A statement from the court, which confirmed the case had been closed, was released a day after parliament declined to summon the interior minister, Sar Kheng, for questioning about the case.

Leng Peng Long, a National Assembly spokesman, said the case was the responsibility of the courts and any attempt to expedite the probe would be political interference.

The court statement did not describe what evidence had been uncovered by investigators, nor did it mention the surveillance footage of the incident, which was taken by police from the scene.

Meas Ny, an analyst, said the closing of the investigation without providing the public with information about the case showed that “the justice system under this government is meaningless.”

Y Rin, court spokesman, could not be reached.

The killing came just days after Ley had given interviews about a report by Global Witness that alleged grand corruption on the part of Hun Sen and his family.

Many Cambodians have interpreted the killing as a warning against critics of the regime.

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