Briefs: Supreme Court Denies ‘Adhoc 5’ Appeal, Brings High-Profile Case to an End

2 min read
Ny Sokha, one of the Adhoc 5, outside the Supreme Court on November 18, 2022. (Hean Rangsey/VOD)
[responsivevoice_button voice="US English Female"]

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld convictions against four human rights officials and an election body staffer — who previously worked at the same rights group — in a case related to a love scandal involving opposition leader Kem Sokha.

The five were arrested in 2016 when four Adhoc staffers, Ny Sokha, Nay Vanda, Yi Soksan and Lim Mony, assisted a woman who was accused of having a relationship with Kem Sokha. Ny Chakrya, who previously worked at Adhoc, was also involved in the case. 

The five — who are known by the moniker “Adhoc 5” — were jailed and released in 2017. They were convicted in September 2018 for bribery. The woman received financial assistance from Adhoc when she approached the group because she had been summoned by the anti-terrorism police for questioning.

They were sentenced to five years in prison but had to serve suspended terms of 14 months. The Appeal Court then upheld the municipal court’s verdict in 2022.

The Supreme Court on Friday brought the case to conclusion by upholding the lower court’s verdict, with judge Nil Nonn rejecting an Appeal Court prosecutor’s demand that the five serve their entire sentences and by dismissing a motion from the defense to drop the charges.

Soeng Senkaruna, an Adhoc rights monitor, said all three levels of the judiciary could not find justice for the five defendants and said they had made a credible defense against the charges. 

“It is a shame of the judicial system,” he said.

The case also ensnared Sokha and two other opposition officials who were charged for procuring prostitution for allegedly taking the woman to Bangkok, Thailand. Sokha spent months holed up at the Cambodia National Rescue Party headquarters and was convicted and pardoned in the case.

— Ouch Sony

Labor Ministry Meets Fired East Crown Workers

The Ministry of Labor has met with six workers terminated from the Eastcrown factory in Phnom Penh after they tried to unionize.

At least nine workers at the Puma supplier were terminated in October after creating a new union to advocate for workers’ rights on the factory floor. Duong Tola, one of the fired workers, said six workers, including Tola, were called to the Labor Ministry on Thursday for talks and to negotiate with the factory owner.

The workers had filed a complaint with the ministry earlier this month alleging that a factory manager, Va Y Hong, had asked them to leave their newly-formed union to join one affiliated with the employer, or else risk losing their contracts.

— Khut Sokun

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.