The Appeal Court yesterday heard a motion from four jailed Adhoc staffers who are challenging their months-long detention on allegations pertaining to a sex scandal surrounding opposition acting president Kem Sokha, with the court expected to rule on the motion on Friday.
The four jailed rights workers – Yi Soksan, Lim Mony, Ny Sokha and Nay Vanda – have been in pre-trial detention since early May, when they were accused of bribing Sokha’s alleged mistress, Khom Chandaraty, to lie to the court.
Charged as an accomplice in the same case, National Election Committee official Ny Chakrya filed a similar motion to the Appeal Court last week, only to have it dismissed, with presiding judge Nguon Ratana ruling that Chakrya’s rights had not been violated.
The four Adhoc officials’ lawyer, Huon Chundy, said their case should be dismissed because their detentions violated the laws on police custody – specifically that a suspect can only be held for 48 hours before being forwarded to the court.
The police’s accounting of “their detention did not start [the minute] they walked into the ACU, in violation of Article 96 of the Criminal Procedures Code”, Chundy said, maintaining that the questioning elapsed the 48-hour mark. Their case, he added, should be annulled due to non-compliance.
On leaving court, Vanda said it was Chandaraty who had changed her story but the Adhoc staffers were being punished, while Mony said she held out no hope for a reprieve.