The Appeal Court on Monday denied a bail request by 10 former members of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), defence lawyer Sam Sokong said.
The defendants will be handed back to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
The verdict came after the Appeal Court deliberated for hours in the case of the 10 who face charges of treason, incitement to commit a felony and incitement of soldiers to disobey the government.
Sokong spoke to The Post outside the courtroom after the decision was delivered by Judge Sous Sam Ath.
“The [Appeal] Court upheld the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s ruling to not allow the charged persons to be released and upheld the verdict for them to be detained in prison,” Sokong said.
He said he would meet his clients to discuss filing a grievance to the Appeal court. “The decision to detain my 10 clients is unfair and I will file an appeal to the Supreme Court to review it,” he said.
The wife of one of the charged men Khem Pheana, the former CNRP Phsar Depou Ti Bei commune chief, called the decision unfair.
She said her husband had not done anything against the law. Since the CNRP was dissolved, she said, her husband hadn’t carried out political activities at all.
The police, she said, arrested her husband after Sam Rainsy, the “acting CNRP president” announced his return to Cambodia.
“I have three children and two of them are studying at university. My husband is a breadwinner in the family. If I lose an income-earner to provide for the family, then I am speechless,” she said.
Sokong said his 10 clients are Sok Chantha, Nhem Vean, Chum Chan, Khem Pheana, Khut Chrek, Ngin Kheang, Long Pheary, Keo Thai, Thai Kunthea and Yim Sareth. The police arrested them in provinces and Phnom Penh in March and April this year.
Sokong said he and co-counsel Lor Chunthy requested the Appeal Court on Monday to release the 10 on bail with conditions as stipulated by law. He said several of his clients have health problems.
“My 10 clients have high blood pressure, diabetes, and excessive acid. They need medical treatment from doctors. So, I ask that the Appeal Court please release them on bail,” he said.
Sokong said that having been detained in prison for a month, his clients asked him and Chunthy to file a bail request.
But it was denied by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, after which he filed an appeal with the Appeal Court.