FTU Calls for Renewed Investigation Into Slaying

The Free Trade Union has called on the government to renew efforts to find the killers of union representative Hy Vuthy, who was gunned down a year ago Sunday as he left a garment factory in the capital’s Dangkao district.

In a statement to mark the an­niversary, FTU leader Chea Mony noted that Hy Vuthy was the third FTU leader to be shot in three years.

“The Free Trade Union wishes to appeal to the Cambodian government to open investigations into all murder cases to unmask…and find the real killers and to provide justice for the victims’ families,” he wrote.

Failure to respond effectively to Hy Vuthy’s killing left the public unprotected, Chea Mony wrote.

“This shows that a contract killer can attack people in broad daylight,” he wrote.

In a telephone interview Mon­day, Chea Mony said that he felt authorities were complicit in the killing of Hy Vuthy and another FTU leader, Ros Sovannareth, who was gunned down in May 2004, four months after Chea Mony’s brother, then-FTU President Chea Vichea, was also shot dead.

Municipal police chief Touch Naruth said Monday that police are persisting in their search for Hy Vuthy’s killers.

“We have not abandoned the case yet. We are continuing to in­ves­tigate,” he said, adding that while no suspects have been identified this did not mean police were inept.

“Even the FBI cannot identify suspects in some cases,” he said.

Government spokesman and In­fo­rmation Minister Khieu Kan­harith rejected the assertion that authorities bore any responsibility for the killings.

“[Prime Minister] Hun Sen’s bro­ther-in-law was killed and the killer has not been found but no one says anything about it,” he said, referring to the November 1996 slaying of Kov Samuth, who was shot dead on Phnom Penh’s Noro­dom Boulevard.

If Chea Mony has evidence to back up his allegations, he should provide it to the courts, Khieu Kanharith added.

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