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Immunity suspension looms

The National Assembly would suspend the immunity of an opposition Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian during a session next Tuesday, senior ruling party lawmaker Cheam Yeap said yesterday.

The suspension of the immunity of SRP lawmaker Chan Cheng, who is accused of helping another party member escape from prison in Kandal province, was added to next week’s agenda during a National Assembly permanent committee meeting yesterday.

“I would like to inform that what was stated in the agenda we have approved according to all procedures, such as a request to suspend Excellency Chan Cheng’s parliamentary immunity from Kandal provincial court,” Cheam Yeap said yesterday.

Chan Cheng is accused of conspiring to help SRP activist Meas Peng escape after she was arrested two months ago for allegedly inciting villagers to destroy private property during a land-dispute protest.

Meas Peng was released from prison after her lawyer successfully argued she had been detained without proper citation.  

Ouk Kimsith, a prosecutor at Kandal Provincial Court, said he had asked the National Assembly to remove Chan Cheng’s immunity so that the court could question him following allegations outlined in a report by investigating judge Lim Sokunthat.

Yesterday, Chan Cheng said the planned suspension was worrying as he had done nothing wrong.

“I am very surprised about this, and I don’t think it should reach the agenda to suspend my immunity,” he said.

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