Disbarred lawyer David Chanaiwa called on the Appeal Court yesterday to accept a bail request shot down last month by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
Chanaiwa, who stands accused of beating a group of journalists earlier this year after they tried to take his photo following a car crash, appeared in court yesterday to beg for lenience. While the lower court rejected the request on the grounds that the lawyer, a Cambodian-American investor and former Chea Sim adviser, posed a flight risk, Chanaiwa sought to assure judges he had no intention of leaving.
“I have a role as a legal advisor to the Senate and a rank equivalent to Secretary of State. I promise not to escape and to come back when the court needs me. And I will post a bail of 20 million riel ($5,000),” he said.
The badboy lawyer and six others were arrested in March after allegedly assaulting a crew of television and print journalists, who recorded ample documentation of the melee. Chanaiwa separately stands accused of illegal use of a weapon – a charge for which he was convicted in absentia in 2011 but never arrested.
Chanaiwa has repeatedly denied the accusations against him and insisted he was not involved in the crash and appeared on the scene only to help his nephew, who also stands charged in the assault.