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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Case against UN staffer dropped

OHCHR Cambodia officer Soen Sally, seen speaking at an event, is no longer being charged as an accomplice in the ‘bribery’ case against the Adhoc 5.
OHCHR Cambodia officer Soen Sally, seen speaking at an event, is no longer being charged as an accomplice in the ‘bribery’ case against the Adhoc 5. CCHR

Case against UN staffer dropped

The local office for the United Nations human rights body released a statement on Friday saying that charges laid against its staffer, Soen Sally, had been dropped in a case relating to an alleged sex scandal involving opposition leader Kem Sokha.

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said charges against Sally, who had been named as an accomplice to “bribery” charges involving the so-called “Adhoc 5”, were dropped by the court on June 29, the same day that the five were released from pre-trial detention.

The cases are widely believed to be politically motivated. Court spokesmen Ly Sophanna and Y Rin could not be reached yesterday to confirm the development.

Sally’s involvement in the case was never clarified by officials but he was charged as an accomplice in the alleged bribing of Sokha’s purported mistress, Khom Chandaraty, to lie about the supposed affair.

However, unlike Sally, the Adhoc 5 will see their cases go to trial at a to-be-determined date.

“We do remain concerned that the trials against them are proceeding despite the lack of evidence and legal reasoning to justify the charges,” the OHCHR’s statement reads.

Unlike the Adhoc 5, Sally was not sent to pre-trial detention. The OHCHR noted publicly that he was protected by UN immunity, a claim that was backed by the Foreign Ministry despite attempts to arrest him.

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