Opposition lawmaker Real Camerin, accused of being among the leaders of an “insurrection” following the 2013 general election, did not appear for a scheduled court summons yesterday.
Camerin, of the Cambodian National Rescue Party, said he could not go to Phnom Penh’s Municipal Court since he was busy resolving a land dispute in Kandal province.
“I do not have time for a [court] summons and to be [asked] the same questions like this,” he said. “I have a mission to resolve a land problem for people.”
He said that he would arrive in court to clarify his position in the case as soon as possible, adding that his lawyer Chan Chen had gone in his stead.
Chen confirmed yesterday that he told the court why his client could not appear.
“My client has answered [questions] many times already,” he said. “We will appear [for] the next summons.”
Other CNRP lawmakers previously scheduled to appear for questioning over charges they led a violent anti-government protest in July 2014 have skirted attempts, as well. Ho Vann and Keo Phirum were meant to go to court on May 20 and May 22, respectively, but both also claimed that they were too busy to appear.
Mu Sochua, meanwhile, showed up to court for questioning on May 11 by investigating Judge Keo Mony, but refused to answer the judge’s questions.
Other lawmakers are scheduled to appear in court later in the week: Men Sothavarin on May 27, Nuth Rumduol on May 28 and Long Ry on May 29.
Men Sothavarin said that he is unsure of whether or not he will fulfill his summons, as he, too, is busy with missions in Kampong Thom province.
“I’ve answered one time already, so I will answer the same,” Sothavarin said. “[This] is politically motivated and must be resolved by politics. I am a lawmaker with immunity since 2013, and the court arrested me in 2014, so [what] does the court think of this.”
Ny Chakrya, chief investigator for human rights group Adhoc, accused the court of violating the constitution for summonsing lawmakers with parliamentary immunity.
“I insisted that the lawyers write a letter to the court to get the court to ask the Ministry of Justice, who would then ask the National Assembly, to suspend immunity in order for the court to process the case,” he said.