Candlelight Candidates Facing Legal Hassles Ask for More Time

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Pal Kep, Candlelight Party council chief candidate for Khemara Phoumin city’s Stung Veng commune, stands in front of the Koh Kong provincial court. (Supplied)

Candlelight commune chief candidates from Koh Kong and Pailin provinces have asked courts to delay proceedings into complaints filed against them, which the party has called intimidation tactics.

Pal Kep, the party’s council chief candidate in Koh Kong’s Stung Veng commune, was sued by six CPP lawyers for defamation, incitement to commit felony, forging of a document and an election violation. The complaint didn’t detail Kep’s alleged crime.

The candidate said he had asked the court for a delay because he was still looking for legal representation.

“I submitted a letter for a delay because the prosecutor had summoned me for testifying on May 11 … it is a short time and I have no lawyer,” he said Wednesday. 

Kep maintained that he had done nothing wrong and was still in the dark about why he was being sued.

North of Koh Kong, Khem Mony Kosal, another party candidate in Pailin, also asked for delay in a summons relating to the charge of incitement for comments he made about a quarantine center in 2021. 

Mony Kosal is a candidate from O’Andoung commune and criticized officials for being inactive in response to the Covid-19 outbreak at the border with Thailand in March 2021. 

The candidate said his lawyer, Sam Sokong, had submitted a letter to the court on May 10 requesting a delay of his May 11 summons. He said Sokong needed time to study the case file. 

He said he had met with U.N. officials to discuss his safety. 

“I am worried about my personal safety, I am feeling suppressed and restricted in my political activity,” he said. 

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