Friday, December 12, 2008

Controversial case to be heard by the Supreme Court

Phnom Penh Post reports that the controversial case of Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun will be heard by the Supreme Court on December 31.

Five years ago, on January 22, 2004, labour union leader Chea Vichea was murdered. Six days later the two men Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun were arrested. In a highly flawed trial in August 2005 they were both convicted for the murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison. The Cambodian authorities has been extensively criticised for the handling of the case, both domestically and internationally. Nevertheless the men's convictions were upheld by the Appeal Court in April 2007.

Chea Mony, the current president of the Free Trade Union and brother of activist Chea Vichea, sais to Phnom Penh Post that the previous courts "acted under pressure from the government" and if the supreme court is independent and investigate the case the men will be freed. The Post reports that human rights organisation Licadho has called the case "the most glaring example of impunity and miscarriage of justice in Cambodia".

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