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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bar panel to begin review of SRP lawyer

Bar panel to begin review of SRP lawyer

THE Cambodian Bar Association will decide this week whether to suspend or disbar Sam Rainsy Party lawyer Kong Sam Onn, accused of violating the organisation's professional code of ethics, the Bar's president said Sunday.

Kong Sam Onn, who is representing opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua in her  defamation lawsuit against Prime Minister Hun Sen, was himself accused of defamation by one of Hun Sen's lawyers after making comments about the case at a press conference April 23.

Bar Association President Chiv Song Hak said a special inspection team would convene today to investigate the allegations against Kong Sam Onn.

At that point, the panel would send its report to the Bar and then the organisation would call its 19 council members to meet before making a decision on the case, which has been criticised by legal experts who  say it is an example of government interference in the courts.

When contacted Sunday, Kong Sam Onn said that the inspection team has not yet contacted him for questioning.   But he argued that the complaint against him is groundless.

"In general, the inspection team is independent, but I am concerned about the individuals involved in the case," he said.

"According to the law, I committed no misconduct with the code of ethics and there is no specific accusation."

Hun Sen's lawyer Ky Tech, a former president of the Bar who brought the complaint against Kong Sam Onn, said he was interested in the outcome of the investigation, adding that he expected the inspection panel to report its findings to the Bar council by Thursday.

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