A lawyer who has represented civil parties at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and defended opposition figures has been tasked with defending the suspected shooter of political analyst Kem Ley, Oeuth Ang, whose trial is set to begin on March 1.
Yung Phanith, an attorney appointed to the case by the country’s bar association, said he might need to ask for a delay due to time constraints.
“Right now, I don’t have the case file in my hand,” he said on Sunday, adding that he already submitted a letter requesting access to information gathered by the investigating judge.
“If I am finished studying the case file, I will attend the trial. But if it is complicated, I will discuss with my client about whether to ask for a delay or not,” Mr. Phanith said.
Mr. Ang confessed to having killed Kem Ley over an unpaid $3,000 debt.
However, family members of both men say they had never met and many people believe he was a hired gun.
Political analyst Kim Sok has been the latest target of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ire for any public airing of the belief that Kem Ley’s murder in July could have been carried out by a network linked to the ruling party.
Mr. Sok was jailed on Friday after Mr. Hun Sen filed a pair of lawsuits against him.
The commentator has been among a chorus of critics who have called on the government to release security camera footage from the gas station in Phnom Penh where Kem Ley was shot, which officials have refused to do.