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Meach Sovannara plans return to Kingdom

Taing Vida / Khmer Times Share:
Meach Sovannara upon his release from jail. KT/Siv Channa

Former CNRP official Meach Sovannara yesterday said he will return to the Kingdom next month to visit his former party leader Kem Sokha and seek solutions to the current political situation.

A dual citizen of the United States and Cambodia, Mr Sovannara plans to arrive in the Kingdom on June 17 and will request to see Mr Sokha in order to pay his respects and express his support.

“I will go back to the country as an ordinary citizen. I’m not worried that I would be arrested because I was not involved in any illegal movement, perceived as a colour revolution against the government,” he said. “I just want to meet Mr Sokha and encourage him to find a way for a political solution to his situation.”

Mr Sovannara was released from jail in August following a royal pardon after he was sentenced to 20 years over a protest at Freedom Park in 2014.

He believes that Cambodian leaders both from the ruling CPP and former opposition CNRP will soon come up with a political solution that benefits the nation and its people, instead of trading insults.

“There are pressures from the international communities and I’m sure that the government would not let these affect the people,” Mr Sovannara noted. “A political solution is a must for our country.”

“I want to return to politics with honour and dignity and look for alternative solutions to unlock the current political tension,” he added.

Justice ministry spokesman Chin Malin yesterday said any request could be made to see Mr Sokha, who is now on bail under court supervision, but the final decision depends on the judge.

“The judge will consider and decide if anyone can see Mr Sokha because the case is still under investigation,” he said. “The judge is taking action according to the procedure.”

Chan Chen, Mr Sokha’s lawyer, yesterday said the investigation is lingering for too long and his client needs overseas medical treatment, adding that his team of four lawyers will soon submit another request for the judge to wrap up his probe in the case.

“The judge has so far summoned several witnesses over the past one year and there is no new evidence regarding the charge against my client,” he said. “The judge should end the investigation and continue the court procedure.”

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