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Supreme Court to hear Kem Sokha appeal

Khuon Narim / Khmer Times Share:
Former CNRP leader Kem Sokha. KT/Mai Vireak

The Supreme Court will today hold a hearing over the extended pre-trial detention of former CNRP leader Kem Sokha, who remains jailed on charges of treason for allegedly conspiring with a foreign power to overthrow the government.

Mr Sokha’s defence lawyers filed an appeal to nullify the Court of Appeal’s decision in March that upheld a Phnom Penh Municipal Court decision to extend the detention of Mr Sokha by another six months.

Kheang Lay, director of the security and transport department with the General Department of Prisons, said he did not receive any order to transport Mr Sokha to the court.

Ouk Kimseth, deputy general prosecutor of the Supreme Court, said that the court will hear the case of Mr Sokha who appealed against his extended detention, but noted that Mr Sokha will not be brought to the court.

“Kem Sokha will not be brought to the court because it is just a procedure of extended detention made by Phnom Penh Municipal Court,” Mr Kimseth said.

Meng Sopheary, one of Mr Sokha’s defence lawyers, confirmed that the hearing will take place, but declined further comment. A Phnom Penh Municipal Court investigating judge on March 5 extended the pre-trial detention of Mr Sokha by another six months.

For an adult involved in a felony, provisional detention may not exceed six months; however, when this period ends, the investigating judge may extend the detention for another six months with a proper and express statement of reasons.

Mr Sokha was arrested on September 3 over comments he made in 2013 video footage from Australia-based CBN news, which showed him saying that the US government had been helping him to push for a regime change in Cambodia since 1993.

The CNRP was then dissolved by the Supreme Court in November and 118 senior party members were barred from politics for five years.

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