Chevron May Be Subpoenaed in Kem Ley Murder Case, U.S. Court Rules

Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy on Friday welcomed a Feb. 9 U.S. court decision to allow Chevron Corporation to be subpoenaed for security camera footage it may have of the murder in Cambodia last year of a popular political analyst.

The video may prove government involvement in the shooting of political analyst and government critic Kem Ley in a gas station in the capital Phnom Penh, Cambodia National Rescue Party president Sam Rainsy wrote in a Feb. 10 posting on his Facebook page.

“A North California District Court has granted the right to subpoena the U.S. company Chevron for video footage of the shooting of Dr. Kem Ley, who was killed on 10 July 2016 as he was drinking coffee at a Chevron (Caltex) service station in Phnom Penh,” Sam Rainsy wrote.

“This breakthrough is a step towards proving the involvement of Cambodia’s government in Dr. Kem Ley’s murder.”

Chevron has 30 days to contest the court’s ruling, Sam Rainsy added, citing court documents.

Just days before his death, Kem Ley had discussed on an RFA Khmer Service call-in show a report by London-based Global Witness detailing the extent of the wealth of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has ruled Cambodia for over 30 years, and his family.

Following the shooting, Cambodian authorities arrested and charged a former soldier named Oueth Ang, who says he carried out the killing over an unpaid debt.

Oueth Ang, the only suspect to be charged so far in the case, is now scheduled to go to trial in a Cambodian court on March 1.

Case ‘taken for granted’

Many in Cambodia feel the investigation into Kem Ley’s death has been diverted from looking more deeply into who else may have been involved, though.

“Not much progress has been made in this investigation,” a motorized rickshaw driver in Phnom Penh told RFA’s Khmer Service on Feb. 10.

“I’m afraid that this case will end up like previous murder cases, where the perpetrators always remain at large,” he said. “I wanted to hear [better] results from the investigation much sooner than this.”

Also speaking to RFA, a student in the capital said that Kem Ley’s murder has now “been taken for granted” and that the murdered analyst and his family are being denied justice in the case.

“There were security cameras at the scene,” he said. “I don’t understand why the perpetrators can’t be found.”

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