Sek Kong appeal fails

A VIETNAMESE involved in the Sek Kong tragedy in which 24 people were killed yesterday claimed he did not have a fair trial because it was 'too long and complex'.

But Phong Ung Cau, 32, failed to get convictions for manslaughter and rioting overturned when the Court of Appeal ruled there was 'overwhelming evidence' against him.

His lawyer Michael Lunn had claimed 'the volume, length and intricacies' of evidence the jury had to assess made the convictions unsafe. After the massacre at the Sek Kong camp on February 3, 1992, Phong was one of 14 people in a record-breaking two-year trial in which the court heard how huts became infernos as rioters hurled blazing blankets through windows.

Phong was cleared of murder, but sentenced to 18 years after he was found guilty of manslaughter and rioting last November.