Court upholds Adhoc 5 detention

May Titthara / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
The group known as the Adhoc Five at one of their many court appearances. KT/Chor Sokunthea

THE Appeal Court yesterday upheld Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s decision to extend the pre-trial detention of the Adhoc Five by six months after they had already spent a year behind bars.
At a hearing in which journalists and family of the plaintiffs were refused entry, the judge made the ruling on the basis that the complicated nature of the case necessitated their detention.
The four Adhoc officials and one National Election Committee official, who was formerly with Adhoc, have been in jail since April 2016 for allegedly bribing a witness in relation to Kem Sokha’s purported affair.
Repeated requests for bail have been rejected by all levels of the judiciary on the basis that the case was complicated and the group might flee the country if released.
“The judge said that it is a criminal case so they can detain my clients for six more months,” Lor Chunthy, the attorney for the four Adhoc officials, said.
Families of the five were barred from bringing food to the detainees.
“I am protecting the security following instructions from my boss. If you want to bring food to your family, you have to get permission from the prison director,” a police officer told the families.
San Vattanak Vatey, daughter of detainee Yi Soksan, said that this was the first time in the 13 months since the group’s arrest that family was not allowed to meet them or hand over food.
“It’s very cruel, my father and the other four are not criminals, drug dealers or illegal loggers,” she said.
“I think the court should close this case because it’s been a year already and they still insist that there needs to be more investigation. Where is their results? Please rethink my father’s case,” she urged.
Adhoc investigator Seoung Sen Karona said he was surprised that the families of the Adhoc Five were not allowed to give food or allowed into the hearing.
“These people are just ordinary citizens, they work to help the society yet receive this sort of injustice. They are not criminals,” he alleged.
Mr Soksan, Lim Mony, Nai Vongda and Ny Sokha from Adhoc and NEC deputy secretary-general Ny Chakrya were accused of bribing CNRP president Kem Sokha’s alleged mistress Khom Chandaraty.
However Adhoc has denied these allegations, insisting that the money given to Ms Chandaraty was a stipend the group usually gave to individuals they were assisting.

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