Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sochua could be detained by force: court

Sochua could be detained by force: court

Sochua could be detained by force: court

PHNOM Penh Municpal Court has issued a letter warning that opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua will be “detained by force” if she doesn’t pay a court-ordered fine within 10 days.

The Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian has refused to pay the fine of 8.5 million riels (US$2,024) as well as 8 million riels in compensation – fees levied against her when the Phnom Penh Municipal Court found her guilty of defaming Prime Minister Hun Sen last August.

In the letter, dated yesterday, Deputy Prosecutor Sok Roeun ordered Mu Sochua to pay the fine to the treasury within 10 days.

“If [Mu Sochua] does not pay by the scheduled date, we will order her to be detained by force,” the letter stated.

Mu Sochua could not be reached for comment yesterday, but an assistant confirmed she had received the letter.

SRP spokesman Yim Sovann said Mu Sochua’s stance was intended to demonstrate “that the Khmer court is unjust and corrupt”.

Run Saray, executive director of Legal Aid of Cambodia, said it appeared the court was complying with legal procedures in enforcing the conviction.

“If you fail to pay, you could face a contempt of court order,” he said, and added that Mu Sochua could ultimately face jail time.

Such a scenario, however, would play into the hands of the opposition more than the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, said Hang Chhaya, executive director of the Khmer Institute for Democracy.

“If she does [go to jail] she will gain a lot of support, mainly from women voters,” he said. “That’s what the prime minister cannot afford to have happen.”

Instead, both sides might come to a last-minute arrangement that would allow Mu Sochua to avoid jail, he said.

Tith Sothea, a spokesman for the Press and Quick Reaction Unit at the Council of Ministers, said yesterday that Mu Sochua would not benefit from her own imprisonment.

“If she sees that imprisonment is her correct issue, it is her right. We see this as defiance, not as profit for the SRP.”

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY IRWIN LOY

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all