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Sam Rainsy summoned to high court

The supreme Court has summoned opposition leader Sam Rainsy to appear for a hearing on February 16 in connection with his conviction for uprooting border demarcation posts in Svay Rieng province in October 2009.

In January last year, Svay Rieng provincial court sentenced the Sam Rainsy Party president in absentia to two years jail for destroying public property and racial incitement, a conviction that was upheld by the Appeal Court last October.

The Appeal Court also released two villagers – Meas Srey and Prum Chea – sentenced to a year in prison in connection with the incident.

According to a citation issued on January 21 by Supreme Court Deputy General Prosecutor Chhoun Chantha, Sam Rainsy has been summoned to appear at 8am with his lawyer Choung Choungy and the two villagers.

Choung Choungy said yesterday he has already asked for a postponement from the court. “Any day is okay provided that the court summons me next time,” he said.

He added that the appeal was filed to the Supreme Court late last year on behalf of Sam Rainsy, who is now living in self-exile in France.

“I have filed a grievance complaint to the Supreme Court to cancel the decision of the Appeal Court. I cannot say whether I am hopeful or not, but I will try my best to defend my clients,” Choung Choungy said.

“I would like to request the court to judge according to an independent stance. Don’t be under the influence of anyone.”

In a separate case, Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced Sam Rainsy to an additional 10 years jail in September, after convicting him of disinformation and falsifying public documents.

The charges stemmed from evidence he publicised on the SRP’s website and in video press conferences following his January conviction that also alleged Vietnamese encroachment on Cambodian territory.

Choung Choungy said an appeal against the conviction had been forwarded to the Appeal Court, but that a hearing date has not yet been set.

Chhoun Chantha could not be reached on Wednesday.



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