The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has ordered jailed opposition Senator Hong Sok Hour and his defence lawyer to provide the imprisoned senator’s laptop as evidence to the court before 30 October.
Sok Hour was detained on 15 August for proliferating an allegedly “fake” border treaty in a video uploaded to CNRP President Sam Rainsy’s Facebook page, and faces charges of incitement and allegedly forging the document.
The imprisoned senator claimed in an October 7 hearing that he found the disputed treaty on a website online and did not forge the document.
That hearing was interrupted and postponed by the judge when Sok Hour’s lawyer, Choung Choungy, requested that the court use its own computer and internet connection to search for evidence of the disputed treaty on the web, said the lawyer yesterday.
“The presiding judge did not allow me to continue the procedure questioning Hong Sok Hour, or to connect to the internet to search for evidence on behalf of him, but suspended the hearing,” said Choungy.
“To clarify that the documents have been sourced from the internet, we would like the court to open the hearing and connect to the internet in the hearing room [to show the documents].”
According to the court’s order letter, issued and signed by judge Ros Piseth on Thursday, after making a decision to further the investigation, the court had ordered that lawyers “file related documents on the 1979 treaty and [also] electronic devices. But until now, there are no documents filed”.
Choungy, who has appealed the October 7 decision, said he was worried that incriminating evidence may be uploaded to the laptop if they handed it over to the court.
“He can’t give it to the court for keeping it safe from someone who may put something in it [to] further make him look bad,” he said.