ILO-OHCHR Joint Statement welcoming the Supreme Court decision in the case of the murder of Cambodian trade union leader Chea Vichea
25 September 2013, Bangkok and Phnom Penh – The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the International Labour Office (ILO) welcome the decision of the Supreme Court of Cambodia to acquit Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun who had earlier been convicted of the murder of the trade union leader, Chea Vichea.
After more than nine years of proceedings before the Cambodian courts, Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun have been finally cleared of all wrongdoings in this case. The Supreme Court recognized the lack of sufficient evidence to prove the guilt of the two men and also identified a number of deficiencies in the way the police handled the case. Importantly, the Supreme Court emphasised that the confession forcibly extracted from Born Samnang by the police could not be invoked as evidence in court.
While the ILO Country Office for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the OHCHR welcome the acquittal and imminent release of the two men, they recall the emphasis placed by international supervisory bodies on the needs for a full investigation into the murder of Chea Vichea in order to ensure that the real perpetrators are prosecuted, tried and punished.