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Police Could Re-Investigate Chea Vichea Murder

Police will re-investigate the murder of popular labor leader Chea Vichea if and when the courts order it, a spokesman said Monday.

Last week the two men who had been accused of the murder, Sok Samoeun and Born Samnang, were released from jail, following an order by the Supreme Court for the Appeals Court to rehear their case.

The two men had faced 20-year prison sentences for the murder of Chea Vichea, who was gunned down in broad daylight in January 2004.

"We are waiting for the final decision by the courts, and if the court orders the police to re-investigate, we will," Ministry of Interior spokesman Lt. Gen. Khieu Sopheak said Monday, following calls by non-governmental organizations for a re-investigation of the killing. "We respect the court's order and the court's decision."

The Appeals Court is expected to decide on the cases of Born Samnang and Sok Samoeun within the next 60 days. Both men said Monday they intended to appear when the court calls them.