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Appeal Delayed for Two Men 'Convicted' in Labor Leader's Murder

The Court of Appeals delayed a hearing Friday for two men who rights groups say were unjustly convicted of killing a labor activist, casting more doubt on whether further investigation will ever take place.

Chea Vichea, an outspoken leader of a Cambodian labor union, was shot dead in January 2006, and Sok Sam Oeun and Born Samnang were arrested one week later.

The two men appeared at the Appeals Court, where Judge Saly Theara delayed the sentencing until April 12.

The two were convicted without witnesses or forensic evidence linking them to the murder, rights officials say.

Chum Sovannaly, defense for the men, said the hearing's postponement proved there was not enough evidence in the case.

Weeping, shouting family members of the arrested men called on the King Norodom Sihamoni and Prime Minister Hun Sen to show the men mercy.

"Today it is not decided yet," Born Samnang's mother said. "I hope my son will be free because I know he is not a killer."