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Accused SRP lawmaker called to appear in court

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SRP lawmaker Chan Cheng (right) speaks to a local villager in Kandal province during an election campaign in 2008. Photo Supplied

SRP lawmaker Chan Cheng (right) speaks to a local villager in Kandal province during an election campaign in 2008. Photo Supplied

Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Chan Cheng, whose parliamentary immunity was stripped in a landslide vote of the National Assembly last month, had been summonsed to appear in court over allegations he helped an accused man escape from detention, a Kandal provincial court official said yesterday.

Provincial court judge Sin Virak said Chan Cheng was required to take the stand next Thursday, a day after lawyer Choung Choungy was due to appear in court over the same escape.

“I have already issued a citation and sent it to [Chan Cheng’s] house summonsing him to appear in court on January 19,” Sin Virak said.

Chan Cheng, who is now in France, told the Post he had not decided whether he would attend. He declined to comment further.

Sin Virak would not reveal what process the court would follow if Chan Cheng did not attend, saying he would wait to see a police report that detailed the case against him.

Chan Cheng and Choung Choungy are charged with the same offence of aiding and abetting Meas Peng, the second deputy chief of Kien Svay district’s Banteay Dek commune, who escaped from prison on September 22.

Choung  Choungy claims Meas Peng, his client, was arrested without a warrant.

SRP spokesman Kimsour Phirith said the party would find another lawyer to represent Chan Cheng.

“There is no reason the court must charge Mr Chan Cheng. This is politically motivated,” Kimsour Phirith said.

When contacted yesterday, Council of Ministers’ Press and Quick Reaction Unit spokesman Ek Tha declined to comment in detail.

“We will eave the court to do its job according to the rule of law,” Ek Tha said.

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