Khmer Time/Taing Vida Tuesday, 13 December 2016 1387 views

Bribery Inquiry Winds Up

The investigating judge of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court has decided to close his inquiries into the case of four Adhoc officials and an election committee member over witness bribery allegations.

An announcement sent to the accuseds’ legal teams on Wednesday last week said judge Theam Chan Piseth had decided to close the judicial investigation into the five in connection with the scandal involving acting opposition leader Kem Sokha and his alleged mistress Khom Chandaraty. 

The announcement said another warrant would be produced soon.

Mr. Chan Piseth declined to say whether the case would proceed to trial or if the court might drop the charges against all five. 

He said the case had been passed on to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Ly Sophana declined to comment on the case.

The legal team received the announcement after two separate meetings of CNRP acting president Mr. Sokha with Prime Minister Hun Sen and Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sar Kheng at the National Assembly.

It also followed the release of opposition commune chief Seang Chet, who had been convicted of bribing witnesses in the same case.

He received a royal pardon and was released after being sentenced to five years imprisonment.

Lawyer Huon Chun Dy told Khmer Times yesterday that the investigating judge could take one to two days after today to check and issue another warrant, to drop the charges or to send the case for a hearing. 

He said: “I think that the procedures on these cases have moved more quickly than before. It gives hope to the lawyers that the court will drop charges against them. 

“I don’t consider it as a political matter, but I think that any institutions and the public will make up their own minds.”

Adhoc officials Nai Vongda, Ny Sokha, Yi Soksan, Lim Mony and election official Ny Chakrya were charged by Phnom Penh Municipal Court with bribing a witness and conspiracy to bribe witnesses, but they have not been sentenced and have been detained for more than half a year.

Mr. Sokha, who received a royal pardon in his case, led three other lawmakers to visit Adhoc officials and Beoung Kak land activists Tep Vanny at Prey Sar prison yesterday.

National Election Committee official Mr. Chakrya was detained in Phnom Penh Prison.

Heads of the two parties in the National Assembly have agreed to meet once per month to discuss the remaining political issues starting from the end of this month.

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