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Sovannara denied bail yet again

Imprisoned Cambodian-American opposition official Meach Sovannara has been denied bail for a fifth time – leading his lawyer to conclude he has “no hope” further appeals will render a different result.

Sovannara was charged in November last year with offenses including “leading an insurrection”,. in relation to a vicious clash between protestors and security forces at an opposition demonstration in July.

Supreme Court presiding judge Oueng Seang handed down the decision in a hearing closed to the media on Wednesday and declined to comment afterward.

Choung Choungy, Sovannara's lawyer, said the court was completely compromised by political interference and a waste of time.

“I have no hope that Supreme Court will accept to release Mr. Sovannara on bail and if we look at the procedure of this case, it is not involved with Mr. Sovannara as he didn’t provoke any violence or incite [anyone] during the protest,” he said.

The July clashes erupted when protesters hit back at the notoriously violent Daun Penh district guards, severely beating several of them, at a demonstration to demand the government reopen freedom park to the opposition.

Four other CNRP supporters and activists remain imprisoned over the same protest.

A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to Meach Sovannara as a CNRP lawmaker. While an official in the party, he does not hold a seat in the National Assembly.
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