Asia

Cambodian charged with murder in government critic's killing

  • FILE - In this July 11, 2016 file photo, Cambodian community activists carry a wreath during the funeral procession of government critic Kem Ley, pictured, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  Oeut Ang, the man who allegedly shot dead Kem Ley over what he claimed was a money dispute is too poor to have loaned the victim $3,000, his wife said Tuesday, July 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith, File)

    FILE - In this July 11, 2016 file photo, Cambodian community activists carry a wreath during the funeral procession of government critic Kem Ley, pictured, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Oeut Ang, the man who allegedly shot dead Kem Ley over what he claimed was a money dispute is too poor to have loaned the victim $3,000, his wife said Tuesday, July 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Mourners hold a portrait of Cambodian government critic Kem Ley during a funeral ceremony in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Wednesday, July 13, 2016. A former Cambodian soldier was charged Wednesday with murder in the killing of Kem in a brazen attack that has raised accusations of a political conspiracy. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

    Mourners hold a portrait of Cambodian government critic Kem Ley during a funeral ceremony in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Wednesday, July 13, 2016. A former Cambodian soldier was charged Wednesday with murder in the killing of Kem in a brazen attack that has raised accusations of a political conspiracy. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)  (The Associated Press)

  • Phou Ratana, wife of Cambodia's prominent government critic Kem Ley, prays as mourners share some donations during a funeral ceremony in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Wednesday, July 13, 2016. A former Cambodian soldier has been charged with murder in the killing of Kem Ley, an attack that has raised accusations of a political conspiracy. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

    Phou Ratana, wife of Cambodia's prominent government critic Kem Ley, prays as mourners share some donations during a funeral ceremony in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Wednesday, July 13, 2016. A former Cambodian soldier has been charged with murder in the killing of Kem Ley, an attack that has raised accusations of a political conspiracy. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)  (The Associated Press)

A former Cambodian soldier has been charged with murder in the killing of a prominent government critic, an attack that has raised accusations of a political conspiracy.

Oeut Ang faces up to life in prison if convicted of killing Kem Ley, who was shot dead on Sunday. He also was charged with possession of an illegal weapon when he appeared at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday.

During interrogation, Oeut Ang had told police that Kem Ley owed him $3,000, and that he shot the well-known political analyst and government critic because of the dispute.

He also identified himself by the nickname Chuob Samlab, which in Cambodian means "meet and kill." Court officials said the nickname would be used in documents for now.