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Court Issues Verdict, Closes Case of Slain Environmentalist

  • Heng Reaksmey
  • VOA Khmer

Chut Wutty died along with a military policeman, In Ratana, in an exchange of gunfire in remote Koh Kong province that has left many unanswered questions.

Chut Wutty died along with a military policeman, In Ratana, in an exchange of gunfire in remote Koh Kong province that has left many unanswered questions.

Koh Kong provincial court has handed a commuted sentence of six months to the man alleged to have shot the military policeman who killed environmentalist Chut Wutty in April.

PHNOM PENH - Koh Kong provincial court has handed a commuted sentence of six months to the man alleged to have shot the military policeman who killed environmentalist Chut Wutty in April.

Rann Borath, a security guard for Timber Green, was implicated in the shooting in a scenario rights group say is unlikely: that he accidentally shot In Rattana twice in the torso after In Rattana fatally shot Chut Wutty.

The shooting took place in a remote jungle area of Koh Kong province, as Chut Wutty led two journalists to investigate illegal logging in the province. Rann Borath was arrested shortly after the April 26 incident.

The end of the trial wraps up the case in the shooting, which brought international condemnation on Cambodia’s legal system. Court officials declined to comment on Monday.

Am Sam Ath, lead investigator for the rights group Licadho, said he was not surprised by the court’s decision.

“We see this decision as simply to end the investigation in the murder of Chhut Wutty and eventually close the case,” he said.

Chut Wutty’s son, Chhoey Udom Reaksmey, said he regretted the decision. The court provided no justice for his father or his family, he said.

“The court is a place to provide justice for victims and if it fails to do so, we don’t know where to get it from,” he said. “This means people are above the law in Cambodia.”
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