Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s investigating judge today decided to send former opposition party leader Kem Sokha’s treason case for trial.
Court spokesman Y Rin said that Judge Ky Rithy decided to send the case for hearing, noting that the schedule for trial will be set later.
“The court has decided to send his case for trial but it has not yet set the date for the hearing,” he said.
Sokha was arrested in September 2017 and charged with treason for allegedly colluding with the US to overthrow the government. Two months later, the CNRP was dissolved by the Supreme Court and its senior members were banned from politics for five years.
Last month, lawyers Phan Chansak, Meng Sopheary, and Pheng Heng requested Judge Rithy to drop the charges against Sokha, arguing that no foreigners considered as conspirators in the case were questioned as the investigation concluded last week.
The trio said that Judge Rithy spent more than two years to investigate the case following Sokha’s arrest in September 2017, adding that the prosecutor lacked solid evidence to prove him guilty.
Muth Chantha, Sokha’s cabinet chief today said he was aware that the court decided to send the case for hearing, but declined to comment further.
Mr Chansak today said that he is disappointed that the court official did not consider dropping the charge against Sokha.
“We don’t have any comments because it is a court procedure,” he said, adding that he and his colleagues are ready to defend Sokha when the case goes to trial.