vendredi, décembre 08, 2006

Cambodia. An annoying witness

News From Cambodia N° 0652-E

Cambodia. An annoying witness

[Unofficial translation from french by Khemara Jati]

Phnom Penh chases in Malaysia, where the former chief of the police of the Hun Sen regime had taken refuge.

The Cambodian government multiplies the pressures to obtain Heng Pov extradition. The former chief of Phnom Penh's police and former-advisor of the Prime Minister Hun Sen, arrested last month in Malaysia while his visa were expired. In the point to have sent to Kula Lumpur about twenty persons - officials, jurists, applicants in his charge - to make pressure on the decision that the Malaysian justice has to set soon. A high official of the Interior Ministry have even moved on the spot for the only objective which is to get Heng Pov back, the key witness of the regime exactions, capable of identifying several political murders, of which the union activist Chea Vichea was gunned down in 2004.

Heng Pov asserts (see L'Express of August 17th, 2006) that proofs were made at the top to obtain the condemnation of two young people who « have nothing to do with the murder » and who serve sentence of twenty years of prison. His statements were confirmed little earlier by a woman of 39 years, Va Sothy, who held a newsstand where the union activist was shooting down. Having taken refuge in a third country, she has just made her testimony to the public: that the murderer was a man from 27 to 30 years old, she says, who turned about twenty minutes around his stall before brandishing a weapon and firing three times on Chea Vichea. Sothy reveals that the [murder] returned to her stand one month later. Seemingly harmless but big visit of threats. In that time, she declares, Heng Pov would have asked her to keep silent. The former policeman, according to his close relations, tried to protect this eyewitness, because Va Sothy risked her life if she risked speaking in the same circumstances.

Later on, Heng Pov was pushed aside from the inquiry. Last September, he was sentenced in absentia in eighteen years of prison for murders of which he asserts not having committed it.

Sylvaine Pasquier.

L’Express du 16 novembre 2006, page 82.

Posted by Khemara Jati
November 20, 2006