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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid