Rights workers held a small ceremony outside the compound of
prison on Tuesday to mark the 1,700th day of incarceration for two “innocent
prisoners” accused of the murder of a labor leader in 2004.
Born Samnang, 28, and Sok Samoeun, 40, have been in jail
since their arrest in January 2004, following the shooting of labor leader Chea
Both men were found guilty of the murder of Chea Vichea and
face 20 years in prison each. They were arrested shortly after the killing and
were convicted despite the absence of witness testimony or a murder weapon and
in the face of convincing alibis for both.
Court upheld a guilty verdict in April 2007. The
Supreme Court has not set a date to hear their final appeal. A Supreme Court
prosecutor said Tuesday he was not aware of any hearing date.
Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Federation of Unions,
said Tuesday the two men have waited 17 months to have a hearing by the Supreme
Court, a violation of a law that requires a hearing within six months of
receiving a case.
About 100 people, including family of the accused, gathered
outside the prison Tuesday morning to watch the release of 1,700 white balloons
into the air above the prison.