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Cambodia: One year after the building collapse in Kep province, court orders reinvestigations in the incident; while justice for victims delayed

"Kampot Court Orders Reinvestigation in Kep Building Collapse", 13 January 2021

The Kampot Provincial Court … did not deliver a verdict in the … Kep building collapse case, instead, ordered a reinvestigation of the incident.

…, a six-floor building in Kep province collapsed, killing 36 people and injuring 23 others. Most of those who died or were injured were construction workers. The building’s owners, Ek Sarun and Chhiv Sothy, were arrested by the police but later released on bail by the provincial court.

Sok Kin, the president of the Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia, said the order for a reinvestigation was only delaying justice for the victims of the building collapse.

“In today's society, if you cannot provide justice to the workers, it means that some employers are still exploiting and abusing workers. This is a bad example for Cambodia,” he said.

He said workers must receive compensation and the accused must be found guilty for their actions under the law…

Ky Tech, who heads a volunteer group of lawyers appointed by Prime Minister Hun Sen, said his team did not object to the court decision…

According to Ky Tech, the Kampot Provincial Court will reassess testimony from seven witnesses, experts, and will conduct another hearing.

Mann Boreth, a spokesperson for the Kampot Provincial Court, could not be reached for comment ...

Ting Chhay, the brother-in-law of a 15-year-old teenager, Neang Mai, who died in the collapse, said he had little knowledge of the court proceedings and did not have any demands after receiving the out-of-court compensation. “It’s fine; it’s enough,” he said…

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