Court refuses to return charged officials’ effects

Court refuses to return charged officials’ effects

The Supreme Court yesterday ruled that phones, iPads and other possessions confiscated from six opposition lawmakers during the violent July 15 protest at Freedom Park would not yet be returned.

The group, along with another lawmaker, was later charged with leading an insurrection in connection with the protest.

Presiding judge Yos Sokhoeun said that the items could not be returned based on the defence’s argument that the lower courts had finished their investigation into the case.

“In the court, the lawyers did not show any documents from the lower court showing the investigation had ended, so the court rejects their appeal and upholds the lower court’s verdict,” he said.

Real Camerin, Keo Phirum, Long Ry, Ho Vann, Nuth Romduol and Men Sothavrin were all released from prison on July 22 after a political agreement was reached between the ruling Cambodian People’s Party and the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party. However, the charges were never dropped, and Prime Minister Hun Sen last week called for them to be prosecuted.

Camerin argued outside the court that since the lawmakers had been released from jail, their personal possessions should also be returned.

“I will demand those items back by instructing my lawyer to file a complaint with the Phnom Penh Municipal Court again,” he said, adding that the lawmakers should be protected from prosecution by their parliamentary immunity.

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