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Former CNRP official nabbed for defying court ban

Khuon Narim / Khmer Times Share:
Nuth Pich was banned from politics for five years. CEN

Kampot provincial police on Saturday arrested a former CNRP district official for defying court orders and continuing to be active in politics.

Major General Mao Chanmathurith, provincial police chief, yesterday said that his officers arrested Nuth Pich, 63, in Chhuk district’s Boeng Nimol commune in accordance with a provincial court warrant.

The court on May 8 charged Mr Pich with discrediting judicial decisions and incitement to commit felony by violating a Supreme Court decision prohibiting him from being involved in politics.

The accused was not put in pre-trial detention and went into hiding, prompting the court to issue an arrest warrant against him on May 17.

“We arrested him near his home on Saturday afternoon, after a tip off that he was seen there,” Maj Gen Chanmathurit said. “We sent him to prison the same day.”

“He organised a political gathering in April in the province, which went against the court order, in a bid to incite to commit felony,” he noted.

The CNRP was dissolved in November 2017 after its leader Kem Sokha was jailed on treason charges for allegedly colluding with the United States to overthrow the government through colour revolution. A total of 118 of its senior officials were banned from doing politics for five years.

So far, several have had their bans lifted after they sought clemency through Prime Minister Hun Sen and Interior Minister Sar Kheng.

Former CNRP lawmaker Ou Chanrath yesterday said that Mr Pich was a former Chhuk district deputy chief of a CNRP party working group.

He said the case against the accused reinforces his belief that political space and freedom of expression in Cambodia remains restricted.

“I notice that the government has increased crackdowns against former CNRP members after former leader Sam Rainsy announced that he plans to return to the Kingdom and has called for supporters to gather and welcome him,” Mr Chanrath noted.

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