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Court accepts new video evidence in Sokha treason trial

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Former CNRP leader Kem Sokha leaves Phnom Penh Municipal Court after a hearing on January 25. Hong Menea

Court accepts new video evidence in Sokha treason trial

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has accepted video of a strike on Veng Sreng Street in Phnom Penh as additional evidence in the ongoing treason trial of former opposition leader Kem Sokha.

The former president of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) has been charged with conspiring with a foreign state to overthrow the government.

Municipal court spokesman Plang Sophal told The Post after the August 24 hearing that Sokha had been questioned about the new evidence – introduced by the prosecution last week – which showed footage from the strike, including roadblocks, burning tires and violence by protesters.

Pheng Heng, one of Sokha’s defence lawyers, said the trial chamber had accepted the footage, which included the voice of Ho Van, a former senior CNRP lawmaker, as new evidence.

Heng considered video submitted as evidence thus far as insufficient to charge his client.

He said that during the hearing, the chamber allowed the prosecutor and lawyers representing the government to question Sokha in connection with video of the strike, which showed protesters blocking container trucks and also becoming violent.

“The questions are linked to the words of Ho Van, who boasted of being the organiser of the demonstration in front of Stung Meanchey pagoda [in Meanchey district],” he said.

He added that all of the questions asked by the prosecutor – as well as those of the government lawyers – have already been answered by Sokha, so he was not going to repeat himself. Sokha also explained once more that he was only responsible for the demonstrations at Freedom Park.

“He still insists that all demonstrations other than at Freedom Park were not the responsibility of the CNRP. The demonstration on Veng Sreng Street had nothing to do with the CNRP,” he added.

The next hearing is scheduled for August 31.

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