News / Asia

'Artificial Killers' Released in Cambodia

Born Samnang (2nd L) and Sok Sam Oeun (2nd R) are escorted by police officers at the Supreme Court in central Phnom Penh, Sept. 25, 2013.Born Samnang (2nd L) and Sok Sam Oeun (2nd R) are escorted by police officers at the Supreme Court in central Phnom Penh, Sept. 25, 2013.
x
Born Samnang (2nd L) and Sok Sam Oeun (2nd R) are escorted by police officers at the Supreme Court in central Phnom Penh, Sept. 25, 2013.
Born Samnang (2nd L) and Sok Sam Oeun (2nd R) are escorted by police officers at the Supreme Court in central Phnom Penh, Sept. 25, 2013.
VOA News
Cambodia has released two men dubbed 'the artificial killers' and seen by many as scapegoats for the high profile killing of a leading labor activist.

The country's Supreme Court dismissed the charges against Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun, citing a lack of evidence against the pair.

A lawyer for Born Samnang, Chum Sovannaly, told VOA's Khmer service it is not clear if his client will seek damages for his confinement.

"I have discussed with him whether he wants to file complaints for reparations [for the time] he was in the prison, losing his advantages, impacting his reputation, and his health. I am just waiting for when he get out of the prison to see if he wants to do it. It is his discretion. If he wants, we will prepare the case for him," he said.

The men were each sentenced to 20 years in prison for the 2004 murder of trade union leader Chea Vichea, a vocal government critic who was gunned down in broad daylight at a newsstand in Phnom Penh.

Born Samnang and Sok Sam were arrested days later and quickly convicted in a trial that human rights activists strongly criticized as a sham to cover up the identity of the real killer.

A coalition of labor and human rights groups have released a statement hailing the release of the two men. But they also called for a fresh investigation into the murder.

Human rights activist Chan Soveth says the mystery of who committed the murder needs to be solved.

"The release is meaning as a good issue. We see the first step of reform by the new government led by the Cambodian People's Party, but we are still skeptical about the perpetrators that gunned down Chea Vichea. Who are they?"

No other suspects have been arrested for the killing of Chea Vichea, who founded a garment worker union along with opposition leader Sam Rainsy.

His death came amid a government crackdown on Cambodia's labor movement.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Khmer service.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid