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Sokha loses appeal in bail case

Khuon Narim / Khmer Times Share:
Kem Sokha sitting in the courtroom on Thursday morning. Fresh News

The Court of Appeals on Thursday denied the bail request by former opposition leader Kem Sokha, who faces charges of treason.

Mr Sokha had been brought for the bail hearing at the Court of Appeals early on Thursday morning.

He was driven to the court at about 5:00am and it was the first time he has been allowed to leave the high security Trapaing Thlong prison.

Mr Sokha’s mother and wife were permitted into the court compound and later allowed to meet with Mr Sokha after the hearing.

In a closed-door hearing lasting about two hours, Mr Sokha was allowed to go to a waiting room before the judge, Phou Povsun, read out the decision denying his bail request, citing security reasons and an ongoing investigation.

Police set up barricades on Sothearos Boulevard and in the areas surrounding the court compound and blocked the entrance to the court. Guards at the Court of Appeals told reporters they were not allowed to enter the court to cover Mr Sokha’s case.

Mr Sokha’s defence lawyer, Hem Socheat, said he could not accept the decision and said he would talk to Mr Sokha about lodging an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Mr Sokha was arrested on September 3, 2017, on charges of treason and could face up to a 30-year jail term. His Cambodia National Rescue Party was dissolved by the Supreme Court in November last year and 118 senior members have been barred from politics for five years.

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