Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sokha trial continues ad infinitum, says lawyer

Sokha trial continues ad infinitum, says lawyer

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Former CNRP leader Kem Sokha leaving the Phnom Penh Municipal Court after attending a hearing in March. Hong Menea

Sokha trial continues ad infinitum, says lawyer

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on July 20 continued its questioning of Kem Sokha, former leader of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP,) on charges of conspiracy with a foreign country to topple the Cambodian government.

Following the trial, the prosecutor’s office spokesman Plang Sophal told The Post that the hearing was focused on video footage taken at Freedom Park in December 2014, when Sokha called on workers, civil servants, members of the armed forces and farmers to participate in a demonstration.

Sophal said the hearing was conducted in the same fashion as any other criminal cases, and he had seen nothing to support the claims of some civil society organisations and individuals who alleged that the case was politically motivated.

“I have no response to those comments – perhaps they were attending a court hearing for the first time,” he said.

Pheng Heng, one of Sokha’s defence lawyers, said the hearing was reminiscent of previous ones. It had not made much progress because the prosecution had simply played a video of Sokha addressing the demonstrators.

He added that Sokha had been asked about his use of the word “change” in the video, but that in general the prosecution had spent more time making comments and offering their own conclusions than questioning Sokha.

“What questions were asked were mostly about ‘change’ and one or two other points. Sokha explained that most of the things he said were simply the rhetoric of a politician speaking off the cuff,” he said.

Heng added that the prosecutor had not charged Sokha with causing a melee or actually toppling the government, but continued to quote speeches which seemed to allege these things.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry orders all schools, public and private, to close for SEA Games

    From April 20 to May 18, all public and private educational institutions will be closed to maintain order and support Cambodia's hosting of the 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games, said a directive from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. Cambodia will host the

  • Almost 9K tourists see equinox sunrise at Angkor Wat

    Nearly 9,000 visitors – including 2,226 international tourists – gathered at Angkor Wat on March 21 to view the spring equinox sunrise, according to a senior official of the Siem Reap provinical tourism department. Ngov Seng Kak, director of the department, said a total of 8,726 people visited Angkor Wat to

  • Angkor Beer strengthens national pride with golden new look and fresher taste

    Angkor Beer – the "Gold of Angkor" – has a new look, one that is more stylish and carries a premium appeal, as well as a fresher taste and smoother flavour, making it the perfect choice for any gathering. Angkor Beer recently launched its new design, one

  • PM urges end to ‘baseless’ international Ream base accusations

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urges an end to “baseless” foreign accusations surrounding the development of the Kingdom’s Ream Naval Base, as the US has consistently suggested that the base is being expanded to accommodate a Chinese military presence. Hun Sen renewed his calls while

  • Khmer ballet documentary debuts April 1

    A new documentary, The Perfect Motion, or Tep Hattha in Khmer, will premiere to the public on April 1. The documentary film follows two intertwined storylines: the creation of a show called Metamorphosis by the late Princess Norodom Buppha Devi (her very last production) and the

  • Water supply authority assures public shortages over early ‘24

    The Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) asked for understanding from Phnom Penh residents in some communes where water pressure is weak. They assured residents that all supply issues will be resolved by early 2024, but have suggested that residents use water sparingly in the meantime.