Slain political analyst Kem Ley’s wife, Bou Rachana, did not appear before the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday, where she was expected to offer testimony as a civil party despite never having filed a complaint.
Rachana, who fled the country with her children citing security concerns, was issued a summons on October 4 to appear before investigating judge Seng Leang for questioning in a case of intentional murder and illegal weapons possession.
However, the court has yet to divulge the identity of the person who filed the complaint, with spokesman Ly Sophanna refusing to comment. Sophanna would only confirm that this was the second summons sent to Rachana – the first in August – and that the court was only following due procedure.
Rachana’s brother, Bou Channy, said the family had not filed a complaint with the court and that he was perplexed as to why the court wanted to question his sister. He added that Rachana had not received the first summons. “We can cooperate with the court, but we do not believe that Chuob Samlab is the murderer,” Channy said, using the alias of Ley’s suspected killer, Oeut Ang.
Channy added that appearing before court would validate the government’s assertion that Ang was the real murderer. “We are also doubtful . . . because they might be in a hurry to close the case,” he said.
Hong Kimsuon, of the Cambodia Defender Project, said it was unusual for the court to call a victim’s family to testify as a civil party, saying they would normally be called as witnesses for the prosecution.