Brief: Kem Sokha Trial Drags On

1 min read
Kem Sokha waves to his supporters as he leaves the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on July 20, 2022. (Hean Rangsey/VOD)
[responsivevoice_button voice="US English Female"]

The latest trial hearing for opposition leader Kem Sokha again examined a video of a decade-old public protest, and witnessed another clash in the final moments as a defense lawyer accused the prosecution of bringing arbitrary charges against Sokha.

Deputy prosecutor Plang Sophal warned defense lawyer Chan Chen over the comment: “I am not just making accusations. You, lawyer, have to be careful.”

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court held its weekly treason trial hearing on Wednesday morning, marking the 49th session in the case of Sokha, who was arrested in September 2017.

The court again watched a video of a mass demonstration from 2013, leading to questions about its purpose and Sokha’s involvement. Sokha was asked why he spoke about raising workers’ salaries during a protest about alleged electoral fraud. Sokha said it was part of the opposition CNRP’s policy platform.

Toward the end, however, lawyer Chen said the prosecution was bringing charges against Sokha just because it had the power to do so. “Being a prosecutor and having rights, [the prosecutor] accuses my client who is an innocent person,” Chen said.

VOD. No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission. VOD is not responsible for any infringement in all forms. The perpetrator may be subject to legal action under Cambodian laws and related laws.