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1 May 2018

Khy Sovuthy, Khmer Times (Cambodia)

Cambodia: Ministry of labour provides prominent labour rights defender Moeun Tola with a lawyer

"Ministry providing rights defender with lawyer", 01 May 2018

The Ministry of Labour, three days after calling for charges to be dropped against a prominent labour rights defender, said...it was providing a lawyer for Moeun Tola who was charged with misappropriating funds raised for slain political analyst Kem Ley’s funeral. Mr Tola, executive director of labour rights group Central, Pa Nguon Teang, an independent media advocate, and Venerable But Buntenh, an activist monk, were all charged by Phnom Penh Municipal Court in September with breach of trust following a complaint from Cambodian Youth Party...over their handling of funds for the funeral. Heng Sour, spokesman for the Labour Ministry, said yesterday the ministry was providing Mr Tola with legal assistance. “We provided a lawyer to defend his case,” Mr Sour said. “We are not sure whether the judge will accept our explanation to dismiss the case or not.” The Ministry of Labour issued a statement on Friday, saying it suggested that Phnom Penh Municipal Court drop the charges against Mr Tola... Mr Tola responded with optimism...Phnom Penh Municipal Court declined to comment...Family members of Mr Ley did not support the filing of the legal complaint...and have said there were no issues in the handling of the funds.