The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday denied bail to political analyst Kim Sok for a second time, despite his pleas that he needed his freedom to prepare for his trial next week for allegedly defaming Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Mr Sok has been detained since his February arrest following a lawsuit filed by Mr Hun Sen claiming that Mr Sok accused him and his ruling CPP of being behind the murder of Kem Ley.
The Appeal Court and Superior Court has also denied him bail throughout his pre-trial detention.
“I guarantee that I will not escape abroad,” Mr Sok said in court yesterday, begging for his freedom because he only has days left to prepare for his trial.
The Prime Minister’s lawyer, Ky Tech, said there could be no guarantee that Mr Sok would not flee the country and asked the court to deny him bail for a second time.
“Most of the time, when the court releases someone to stay on bail, some defendants have fled,” Mr Tech said.
Presiding Judge Ky Rithy said he wanted to ensure that Mr Sok appeared for his trial.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor Sieng Sok said the trial was set for Wednesday.
Choung Chou Ngy, Mr Sok’s lawyer, said outside court he had struggled to prepare for the case alongside his client due to his incarceration.
Mr Ngy said visiting Mr Sok in prison to discuss the case was very difficult.