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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - SRP lawyer’s take different on ‘jail break’

SRP lawyer’s take different on ‘jail break’

Opposition Sam Rainsy Party lawyer Choung Chougy yesterday denied allegations lodged against him by Kandal provincial authorities that he had helped his client escape from prison earlier this year.

The lawyer said that he helped facilitate the release of his client, Banteay Dek commune chief Meas Peng, on September 23 after the villager had been arrested for incitement in Kien Svay district.

Choung Chougy said that Meas Peng had been illegally detained without an arrest warrant, and after explaining this to the prison director, Muong Sam Ath, the commune chief was released.

However, last week, speaking to local media outlets, Muong Sam Ath accused Meas Peng of escaping from prison and Choung Chougy of engineering the getaway. And earlier this month, the National Assembly suspended the immunity of SRP lawmaker Chan Cheng in order for him to respond to questioning about Meas Peng’s alleged escape, at the urging of Kandal provincial prosecutor Ouk Kimseth.

Choung Chougy told the Post yesterday that such claims were false.

“If I am wrong, I will go to jail myself, but I would like to ask Ouk Kimseth to talk with me face to face…to figure out who is right and who is wrong,” the lawyer said.

Choung Chougy also accused Ouk Kimseth of abusing his power by issuing him a court summons to testify about Meas Peng’s release from prison.

“I did not go to testify. I am a Cambodian lawyer, if I am doing something wrong, please file a complaint to the bar association of the Kingdom of Cambodia,” Choung Chougy said, adding that Ouk Kimseth “does not understand the law”.

Meas Peng defended his lawyer yesterday, saying that the charges were “a violation of the law”.

Moung Sam Ath declined to comment about his recent statements to local media outlets yesterday, saying that all requests for information needed to be directed to Ouk Kimseth, who was unable to be reached.



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