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Sam Rainsy’s appeal to be held in absentia

THE Appeal Court would hold a hearing into the recent conviction of opposition leader Sam Rainsy tomorrow, his lawyer said, despite the fact that the politician remained overseas.

Choung Choungy, Sam Rainsy’s lawyer, said yesterday that he would appear to defend his client, who he said hoped to overturn a two-year prison sentence that was preventing his return from self-exile in Europe.

“I have prepared myself already. I cannot say what the result of the hearing will be ... but I will try to request that the court acquit my client,” he said.

In January, Svay Rieng provincial court convicted Sam Rainsy of racial incitement and destroying demarcation posts on the border with Vietnam. The charges stemmed from an October incident in which he joined villagers in uprooting six wooden border posts in Chantrea district. Two local villagers were also jailed in connection with the incident.

Appeal Court officials could not be reached yesterday.

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