Court questions former colleague of Kem Sokha

Ven Rathavong / Khmer Times 1 Comment Share:
Chhim Phalvirun was questioned for nearly three hours yesterday. Supplied

Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday questioned a CPP spokesman who previously worked at the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights with jailed opposition leader Kem Sokha.

Investigating judge Ky Rithy questioned Chhim Phalvirun for almost three hours over his previous work at the CCHR and over the treason charge against Mr Sokha.

Mr Phalvirun declined to reveal the line of questioning in order to avoid affecting court procedures.

. .

“The court asked me questions related to CCHR and the crime charged against Kem Sokha,” he said. “I answered what I knew. What I didn’t know, I told the judge as much.”

Last month, Mr Phalvirun was summoned as a witness in the case of Mr Sokha, who was charged with treason in September over an alleged attempt to overthrow the government.

Mr Sokha was denied bail by the Appeal Court last week.

The CCHR was founded by Mr Sokha in 2002 before he returned to politics in 2007. During that time, Mr Phalvirun was deputy of the centre.

In 2006, former employees of CCHR accused Mr Sokha of committing corruption at the organisation, which was funded by the US-based International Republican Institute; Mr Sokha denied the allegations.

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Mr Phalvirun, who is also director of the Institute for Civic Education, said he appeared on his own behalf, not any political party. The questioning was unrelated to the case of corruption at CCHR, he added.

“My answers are based on reality because I value justice,” Mr Phalvirun said, adding he would give more answers if required by the court.

In December, Prime Minister Hun Sen affirmed that the CCHR would not be shut down after an investigation by the Interior Ministry concluded it was not linked to an attempted colour revolution led by the dissolved CNRP.

The investigation was undertaken after Mr Hun Sen suggested it should be closed because it was founded by Mr Sokha.

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1 Comment

  1. The art of subverting a government has undergone a revolution. Gone are the days of using secret agents, political assassinations, bribery and blackmail. The art of subversion is now practiced in a much more open and friendly way, using “human rights,” “assistance,” “promoting democracy”, “education and training.” The goal has not changed, only the tactics have changed. For example, the tactic of financing and supporting “color-revolutions” is replacing the tactic of financing and arming militant rebel groups. Both tactics have the goal of toppling a government, it is just done in a “nicer” way now.

    These more open and friendly tactics come with a major disadvantage for the subversives however; it is now much easier to identify the subversives and their backers. Just follow the money!

    So let’s do that. Where did the CCHR organization get the money for its activities. As this article states, this organization “was funded by the US-based International Republican Institute [IRI].” OK, where does the IRI get the money for its activities? The official IRI website states that it “receives funding through grants from the U.S. State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development, [and] the National Endowment for Democracy” In other words, the trail leads directly to the USA government. That was too easy. Let’s dig a little deeper.

    Let’s take a closer look at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The NED states that “The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world.” That certainly sounds open and friendly and nice. But is that true.

    The well-known and highly-respected US Congressman Ron Paul has an opinion on that very matter, he stated that the NED has “very little to do with democracy. It is an organization that uses US tax money to actually subvert democracy, by showering funding on favored political parties or movements overseas. It underwrites color-coded ‘people’s revolutions’ overseas” Sound familiar?