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Court case: Parties face court over late reports

Court case
Representatives from two of the 10 political parties accused by the Interior Ministry in 2007 of submitting their annual reports late appeared at a hearing at Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday.

Choung Choungy, lawyer for the Sam Rainsy Party, yesterday asked the court to divide the cases into separate hearings to guarantee independence in decision-making.

However, Presiding Judge Suos Sam Ath denied the request, stating that the court had opened the hearing to conform to the Interior Ministry’s complaint.

Khmer Democratic Party president Ouk Phourik asked the court to acquit the party. “I was just two days late sending the report in 2006,” he said.

Choung Choungy told the court the SRP sent its annual report on December 31, but it did not arrive at the Ministry until January 2.

Meas Sarim, deputy general director of the General Department of Administration at the Interior Ministry, said in court that six parties had sought pardons, but the Ministry would not drop any lawsuits.

“Article 31 on political parties requires political parties to send the annual report … before December 31,” he said.

Sous Sam Ath said a verdict would be announced on July 21.



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