Human rights officials who were convicted of bribing the alleged lover of an opposition leader brought their case to the Appeal Court on Thursday, calling for the woman, who filed the complaint against them, to testify.
In 2016, then-CNRP vice president Kem Sokha was accused of having an affair with hairdresser Khom Chandaraty, also known as Srey Mom, and was charged with procuring prostitution.
Four officials from rights group Adhoc — Ny Sokha, Yi Soksan, Lim Mony and Nay Vanda — and a former Adhoc and National Election Committee staffer Ny Chakriya were charged and later convicted for bribery after financially assisting Chandaraty.
Courts found the rights officials gave $200 to Chandaraty and sentenced them to five years in prison, though the term was suspended to time already served.
Thursday’s hearing debated the absence of Chandaraty, as the defense requested a delay until she could be present, pointing out that she had not appeared in the lower court trial either.
However, presiding judge Sin Visal said the case had dragged on too long already, and the court already had Chandaraty’s testimony.
The judge asked the defendants why they were appealing, and the four Adhoc staffers said they objected to their convictions even though they had not committed a crime.
Chakriya was not present, with this lawyer saying he was in the provinces on a job.
After a full afternoon of the hearing, three of the defendants gave their final requests, again asking the court to summon Chandaraty for questioning and to drop their convictions.
A decision is scheduled for May 23.