25 August 2009

 

Vichea's brother faces lawsuit

Chea Mony has always been clear that Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun did not kill his brother, Vichea. He even rejected a compensation payment that the court ordered them to pay his family.

Now that the appeals court has reopened the investigation, Mony, who was elected president of the union Vichea led, is pointing the finger at the government--and the government doesn't like it.

"I am ready to take responsibility and dare to be imprisoned for my conclusion about my brother's case, which is that the government prepared a plan to kill my brother."

A government spokesperson has already announced that it plans to sue Mony, though it has not yet filed the suit. In Cambodia, judges can order imprisonment for libel, in addition to monetary compensation.

In recent months the regime has been using the courts, which it controls, more and more frequently to silence its critics.

In the most recent case, opposition member of parliament Mu Sochua lost her defamation suit against Prime Minister Hun Sen, who then won his countersuit against her after having her stripped of her parliamentary immunity.

Meanwhile the United Nations and the ILO have welcomed the reopening of the investigation, saying, "It now seems beyond doubt that there is insufficient evidence to maintain the charges against Born Samnang and Sok Sam Ouen. ...The charges against the men should now be dropped, allowing the police to resume the search for those really responsible for shooting Chea Vichea in January 2004."

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