THE Appeal Court will next month hear the case against opposition leader Sam Rainsy and two Svay Rieng villagers convicted of uprooting wooden demarcation posts on the border with Vietnam, the court said this week.
In a citation issued Monday, court prosecutor Nget Sarath ordered the three defendants to appear on October 5, when the court will hear their appeal against a verdict handed down by Svay Rieng provincial court in January.
Sam Rainsy, who is living in self-exile abroad, was sentenced in absentia to two years jail, and the two villagers – Meas Srey, 40, and Prum Chea, 41 – received one-year sentences.
The three were charged with racial incitement and the destruction of public property following an incident last October in which Sam Rainsy led villagers in pulling up the posts in Chantrea district during a protest against alleged Vietnamese encroachments.
Sam Rainsy’s lawyer, Choung Choungy, said yesterday that he was ready to defend his client against a sentence he described as “unjust”. “I have already prepared myself to defend him. The people cannot accept the court’s decision,” he said.
Sam Sokong, the lawyer for two jailed villagers, said his clients were being held at Kandal provincial court, and that they were suffering health problems because of their captivity.