Monday, 31.3.2008: Sam Rainsy Appeals to FBI to Re-Investigate the Case of 30 March 1997

Posted on 1 April 2008. Filed under: Week 554 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 554

“Phnom Penh: The Sam Rainsy Party [SRP] appealed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] of the United States of America to re-open its investigation into the events of the hand grenade attack in front of the former National Assembly which happened eleven years ago, killing more than 10 demonstrators and injuring more than 100. The party criticized that the government has not yet made any progress in the investigations.

“A spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior claimed that the Ministry has not yet closed the case. The authorities welcome the Sam Rainsy Party if it is providing evidence, witnesses, or other reasons relating to the case.

“The general secretariat of the SRP issued a statement on 29 March 2008, focusing on the 11th anniversary of the commemoration of the death of the victims, killed by a hand grenade attack in front of the former building of the National Assembly on 30 March 1997.

“Eleven years ago, about 100 demonstrators, including garment workers, participated in a demonstration led by the SRP, demanding a reform of the judicial system in Cambodia. Thirty minutes after the start of the demonstration, four hand grenades were thrown into the crowd, leaving 16 dead and more than 100 injured.

“The statement of the SRP said, ‘Eleven years have passed, and the Cambodian government declared that the case of this hand grenade attack is still open, but the investigation has not yet made any progress. For eleven years, justice has not yet been found for the victims. This causes questions about the honesty of the government. The families of the victims wonder whether or not justice is being sought.’

“The SRP appealed to the FBI to re-open its investigation to ensure that criminals and those who are behind the attack cannot run away from justice, and to promote respect for the rule of law in Cambodia.

“General Khieu Sopheak, the secretary general of the Ministry of Interior and the spokesperson for the ministry, told Rasmei Kampuchea in the afternoon of 29 March 2008 by phone that ‘in the investigation of few years ago, our authorities found a suspect who is a Brazilian national, but afterwards the suspect denied to be involved. However, we still keep the case open. The Ministry of Interior has not yet closed the case, because persecution is still possible.’

“Concerning the statement that the SRP said that justice has not yet been sought for the victims, General Khieu Sopheak said that ‘the victims are Khmer people and they have Khmer blood like us. Therefore, we have to seek justice for them. The government and the authorities happily welcome if the SRP provides evidence, witnesses, or any other motivation concerning the case.’

“The spokesperson said that Mr. Sam Rainsy had written a letter to officially apologize to the Prime Minister that he would no longer make any allegations without clear evidence that the government was behind the event.

“As for the appeal of the SRP to the FBI to re-open its investigation, Khieu Sopheak said, ‘It is up to the FBI. We cannot give any comment concerning this request.’” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4554, 30-31.3.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 31 March 2008


Chalna Sangkum, Vol.3, #15, 31.3.2008

  • A Letter to the Editor Requests to Publish the Article “City With No Sidewalks” Again


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1606, 30-31.3.2008

  • Anti-Poverty Party Chief [Kravanh Daran] Boats by Saying that Samdech Hun Sen Is Strong, but He Is Not Afraid
  • Gold Seller Shot Dead and His Bodyguard Wounded; A Box of Gold Robbed [29 March 2008 – Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #126, 31.3.2008

  • Samdech Euv [the former King] Will Return to Cambodia on 6 April 2008; He Will Not Enter the Royal Palace but Will Proceed Directly to Siem Reap
  • [Former US International Republican Institute Cambodia Director] Ron Abney: Report [supposedly by the US FBI] States that Hun Sen’s Bodyguards Organized Grenade Attack [opposite National Assembly on 30 March 1997]
  • [Telecom Cambodia Director] Nhek Kosal Vithyea’s Corruption of Stealing from the Nation Is Very Unjustly Covered Up [without action taken against corruption]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6310, 31.3.2008

  • Anniversary of Grenade Attack Opposite National Assembly Commemorated in Past Eleven Years; Mr. Sam Rainsy: Murderers Will Be Arrested in 2009 [it doesn’t say how and by whom]
  • USA [through USAID] Provides $500,000 for [wildlife] Conservation in Northeastern Cambodia


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3426, 31.3.2008

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Calls Khmer Citizens Who Suffer Increasing Prices of Goods to Attend Large Non-Violent Demonstration on 6 April 2008
  • Yuon [Vietnamese] Immigrants Have Increased the Number of Branches of their Association by 55 out of the Total Goal of 75 Branches throughout Cambodia [according to Vietnam News Agency]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4554, 30-31.3.2008

  • Sam Rainsy Appeals to FBI to Re-Investigate the Case of 30 March 1997

Have a look at last week’s editorial, “using an iron fist to administer justice”

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