Former CNRP official Chea Chiv said he was questioned by Battambang Provincial Court yesterday over the “Clean Finger Campaign”, a case for which he was already fined by the National Election Committee.
Last year, five former CNRP members in Battambang province, including Mr Chiv, were found guilty for participating in the campaign, which urged voters to abstain from the 2018 national poll in the wake of the former opposition CNRP being dissolved by the Supreme Court.
Mr Chiv, former chief of the CNRP’s provincial executive committee, yesterday said he and five others are being accused of violating the Supreme Court’s decision to dissolve the party.
He said that he was shocked when he was first summoned by the court to be questioned over the campaign.
“I was found guilty of participating in last year’s campaign and I have paid fines to the National Election Committee already,” Mr Chiv said. “I do not understand why the court asked me about this again.”
“I told the court the case ended, and that I should not be questioned about it any more,” he added.
Additionally, Mr Chiv said that during the questioning, he also had to answer questions about the nomination of former opposition leader Sam Rainsy as acting party president.
Mr Chiv, who did not deny supporting Mr Rainsy, said he had the right to express himself freely.
“I have the right to express my opinion,” he said. “A post on social media about my personal view will not harm anyone.”
“The court is trying to pick on me and pressure me because I was an active CNRP member before the party was dissolved,” Mr Chiv added.
Defence lawyer Sam Sokong said the court should not question his client since the case is under the jurisdiction of the NEC and the Constitutional Council.
“It was a waste of time to question my client about that case,” Mr Sokong said. “I think the court questioned all of my clients regarding their support for Mr Rainsy. The court is trying to come up with something my clients can be blamed with.”
Mr Sokong noted that he will file a request to the provincial judge to drop the case because his clients did no wrong by expressing their opinions on social media.
Ky Bunnara, provincial prosecutor, declined to comment yesterday.