Opposition Sam Rainsy Party legis-lators expressed concern yesterday about their lawyer, Choung Choungy, who appears to be missing, amid claims that he was arrested by police while travelling to Kampong Chhnang province to defend a client.
SRP legislator Mu Sochua said the party had heard Choung Choungy had been arrested, but his whereabouts were unknown.
“A [United Nations] official based in Cambodia told me 40 minutes ago that Choung Choungy had been seen at the Ministry of Interior,” she told reporters outside the Kandal provincial court.
Mu Sochua told the Post the party was concerned for Choung Choungy’s safety and had contacted the UN Office for the High Commissioner of Human Rights in Phnom Penh to try to ascertain his whereabouts.
“The UN confirmed to us they had reports that [Choung Choungy] had been seen at the Ministry of Interior at 1pm,” Mu Sochua said.
“Since 1pm, no one has been able to contact him, and no one knows where he is.”
Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said he did not know where Choung Choungy was. He added that police never arrested people without a warrant.
Kandal provincial court judge Sin Virak told the Post that he had not issued a warrant for Choung Choungy’s arrest.
A lawyer and friend of Choung Choungy who declined to be named quoted Choung Choungy’s niece as saying that police were foll-owing the lawyer to Kampong Chhnang province in order to arrest him.
When contacted yesterday, Choung Choungy’s niece, who identified herself as Theary, said her uncle had been arrested on the way to Kampong Chhnang province.
“He called me to say that they were following to arrest him on the way to Kampong Chhnang,” she said.
“I don’t know whether he was arrested at any spot . . . because he did not have the opportunity to say.”
Choung Choungy was charged with aiding and abetting the escape of his client Meas Peng, deputy chief of Kien Svay district’s Banteay Dek commune, from prison on September 23 and was summonsed to Kandal provincial court this week for questioning.
Choung Choungy has claimed that Meas Peng was arrested without a warrant.
The Cambodian Bar Association has not yet appointed Choung Choungy a lawyer, and could not be reached by the Post for comment yesterday.