Free Trade Union President Chea Mony alleged Wednesday that jailed police official Ly Rasy and another unnamed mastermind were involved in the death of his brother Chea Vichea, who was shot dead in 2004.
In a letter sent Tuesday to Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana, Chea Mony also asked for the release of Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun, who were convicted in a much-criticized trial of the Jan 22, 2004, killing of former FTU President Chea Vichea.
“I want the ministry to release them because they were not the real killers,” Chea Mony said Wednesday. “I believe that Ly Rasy was involved in the killing, and there was another mastermind behind him.”
Municipal minor crime police deputy Chief Ly Rasy is currently jailed on charges of assassinating Judge Sok Sethamony, killing a woman during interrogation and attempting to kill National Military Police Commander Sao Sokha and Phnom Penh Municipal Chief Prosecutor Ouk Savouth.
Born Samnang claimed during the trial that Ly Rasy had had forced him to confess to the killing, Chea Mony added.
Taing Sin Hong, an aide to Ly Rasy’s lawyer, said that there is no evidence that Ly Rasy was involved in Chea Vichea’s killing.
“[Officials] want to put the blame on Heng Pov,” Taing Sin Hong said in reference to Phnom Penh’s former municipal police commissioner, with whom Ly Rasy was known to have close ties.
Family members of Ly Rasy and other police officers recently jailed in connection with a slew of serious crimes have alleged that the prosecutions were related to a dispute between Heng Pov and National Police Commissioner Hok Lundy.
Both men have denied the existence of a feud.
Heng Pov’s assistant said he was too busy to comment Wednesday.
Taing Sin Hong also alleged that both Ly Rasy and co-defendant Hang Vuthy, Municipal Criminal Section deputy police chief, were tortured by military police to force confessions.
“[Hang Vuthy] was beaten and held under water four to 10 times per day” to force him to implicate Ly Rasy, Taing Sin Hong said. She also alleged that Ly Rasy had also been tortured and left handcuffed in a narrow cell.
Sao Sokha denied the accusations.
“I don’t think any of my officers have done that. This is defamation,” Sao Sokha said. “If he was tortured, he wouldn’t have survived until now.”
Sao Sokha also claimed to know and threatened to expose the people who ordered Ly Rasy and Hang Vuthy to kill.
“I don’t reveal it now, I let the court work,” he said. “[But] if they don’t stop [attacking me] I will reveal them.”
The executive director of the Cambodian Defenders Project, who is coincidentally also named Sok Sam Oeun, called for an independent committee to investigate the cases.
“It is better to have an independent investigation committee,” Sok Sam Oeun said.
Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said that the Chea Vichea case is already closed and denied allegations made by Chea Mony that the government had been involved in his brother’s death.
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