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Rainsy’s Trial Postponed to Next Month

Ven Rathavong / Khmer Times No Comments Share:

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has postponed the hearing of opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who is living in France in self-exile, and his assistants Ueng Chong Leang, 21, and Sombath Satya, 26, to next month after their lawyers requested an adjournment. 
After the jury listened to the prosecutor and lawyers, jury head Leang Samnat said the court decided to postpone the hearing to December 9. He did not say the reason why, but his decision was made after lawyers for Mr. Rainsy and his two assistants asked the court to adjourn the case. 
In the courtroom, Mr. Rainsy’s lawyer Som Sok Kong told the jury that today his client had disappeared because he was on mission abroad and his mother-in-law had passed away. 
Yung Phanith, the lawyer for Mr. Chong Leang and Mr. Satya told the jury that since he was assigned to defend his clients, he had never met them. 
“I have never met and discussed anything with my clients. I have not known where they are,” he said. 
Former senator Hong Sok Hour was brought from prison to the court to be a witness in the case against Mr. Rainsy and his assistants, but the three defendants were absent. Experts on technology were also absent from the courtroom.
Mr. Rainsy and his assistant were charged with conspiracy to forge a Cambodia-Vietnam border treaty and causing security chaos in society. 
Mr. Sok Kong told reporters outside the court that this decision was acceptable because his client’s mother-in-law had passed away and Mr. Rainsy and his family were very sad over this loss. 
“If we had the trial of our client today, it would be impolite, and immoral as well,” he said, adding that the police who were experts on technology were also absent and that is why the trial should be postponed. 
Mr. Sok Kong said an acceptable hearing could be held when all the relevant parties appeared in the courtroom. 
According to Mr. Phanith, the decision by the jury responded to the lawyers’ requests. “I also requested to postpone because since I received the case, I have never met them.”
On Thursday, Nhiek Tioulong Measket Samphotre died at age 97. She was the mother of Tioulong Saumura and the mother-in law of Mr. Rainsy. 
Prime Minister Hun Sen sent a letter to offer his condolences to Ms. Saumura for the loss. 

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