Lawyer Says Kem Ley Case ‘Not Complicated’

The lawyer tasked with defending Oeuth Ang, the man accused of gunning down government critic Kem Ley in July, confirmed on Sunday that he would attend the trial’s first hearing on Wednesday without seeking a delay because the case file “is not complicated.”

Yung Phanith, an attorney appointed to the case by the country’s bar association, said last week that he may require more time to assess the evidence.

Police officers inspect the scene of Kem Ley’s murder at a Caltex gas station in Phnom Penh on July 10. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

Contacted on Sunday, however, Mr. Phanith said a delay in proceedings would not be necessary.

“I will attend the trial because the case file is not complicated. I met with my client and he is in good health and he is ready for the trial,” the lawyer said.

“I’m ready and prepared for my technical work as a professional attorney,” he added.

Mr. Phanith said he last met Mr. Ang on Thursday, but declined to divulge what they discussed.

Mr. Ang, a former soldier and monk, was arrested shortly after allegedly shooting the popular political analyst in a Phnom Penh convenience store. He initially told police his name was “Chuop Samlap,” or “Meet Kill,” and claimed that he murdered Kem Ley over an unpaid $3,000 debt.

However, family members of both men have said the explanation is implausible, and it is widely believed Mr. Ang was a hired gun.

Suspicions of government interference in the murder investigation have been stoked by the lack of transparency in the procedures, with many calling for the release of the security camera footage of the shooting.

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