Rainsy Faces Deadline in Kem Ley Case

A U.S. district judge has set a June 29 deadline for former CNRP President Sam Rainsy to submit further evidence and requests for information in his legal filing against U.S. oil giant Chevron regarding Kem Ley’s July murder.

Judge Donna Ryu of the U.S. district court of Northern California issued the order on Thursday as a response to a motion from Chevron, which sought to quash the former opposition leader’s court case.

cam photo kem ley KHMER
A man who is purportedly Oeuth Ang draws a pistol in an aisle of the Caltex gas station convenience store where he allegedly shot Kem Ley, in an image taken from security footage shown at Mr. Ang’s trial in March.

Mr. Rainsy filed the legal action with the intent of acquiring security footage from the Chevron-owned Caltex station where the popular political analyst was shot, but the oil giant said in March that all the tapes from the station had been confiscated by Cambodian authorities.

Mr. Rainsy did not respond to questions on Sunday about whether he was seeking anything else beside the footage.

The popular political analyst’s murder elicited widespread grief in Cambodia, as well as suspicions that the murder was a government-ordered hit. A suspect arrested shortly after the shooting, Oeuth Ang, said he had shot Kem Ley due to an unresolved debt, an account disputed at the time by both men’s families.

Mr. Ang was sentenced to life in prison by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in March, after a trial lasting a single morning. The judicial process was criticized as “deficient” in a statement by the International Commission of Jurists, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International. The statement called for further investigation into the murder.

Judge Ryu’s court order reads, “By no later than 6/29/17, Applicant Sam shall submit evidence and further briefing regarding his Cambodian case,” after which Chevron will have two weeks to respond.

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