Kem Sokha Puts Phnom Penh Villa on Sale for $2.4M

3 min read
Kem Sokha speaks to reporters at his house in Phnom Penh on the morning of January 22, 2020. (Chorn Chanren/VOD)

Kem Sokha, Cambodia’s ex-opposition leader still awaiting the resumption of his treason trial, has put his six-bedroom Toul Kork district home on the market for $2.4 million.

Sokha, former president of the country’s main opposition CNRP, was arrested in 2017 for allegedly conspiring with the U.S. to overthrow the government. He was released on court supervision and his trial began early last year, but it has since been suspended due to Covid-19.

According to an October 24 post on realtor Century 21’s Facebook page, a villa in Toul Kork district was put up for sale for $2.4 million. Both the villa’s front gate and inner entrance, where Sokha has spoken to reporters following diplomatic visits, match the opposition leader’s villa.

The listing says that a sale is urgent, the price is negotiable, and a sale includes a hard title transfer.

Villa on sale, from the Facebook page of Century 21.
Villa on sale, from the Facebook page of Century 21.
A meeting at Kem Sokha’s villa, in a photo on his Facebook page.
A meeting at Kem Sokha’s villa, in a photo on his Facebook page.
A meeting at Kem Sokha’s villa, in a photo on his Facebook page.
A meeting at Kem Sokha’s villa, in a photo on his Facebook page.
Villa on sale, from the Facebook page of Century 21.
Villa on sale, from the Facebook page of Century 21.

The property, on land measuring 20 by 40 meters, contains a swimming pool, six bedrooms, eight bathrooms and two kitchens, it says, adding that it is 100 meters from Pannasastra International School and 450 meters from Morn Arng market.

Sokha’s lawyers Chan Chen and Pheng Heng both said on Monday that they were unaware of the villa’s sale.

A Century 21 staff member declined to be named but said the listing was genuine. “Sorry, regarding this information, I can’t dare to tell you yet. However, the company has indeed received the title from the owner to receive the right to sell it legally.”

A source close to Sokha, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said the listed villa was Sokha’s, but did not know why it had been put on the market.

Political analyst Meas Nee said politics in Cambodia was difficult, declining to comment directly on the villa’s potential sale.

“For me, we see the difficult life journey of doing politics in Cambodia. Facing threats, and the government also not responsible for helping each political party to be able to do politics fairly. Whoever is rich, they can survive. For those who are not, they face difficulties.”

The villa has welcomed many foreign ambassadors for meetings in recent months, and was also the site of Sokha’s midnight arrest in 2017.

(Translated and edited from the original article on VOD Khmer)

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