Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Former CNRP activists told to testify in court over ‘plotting’

Former CNRP activists told to testify in court over ‘plotting’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Authorities​ pin court summons on the gate of former CNRP office at Chak Angre Krom Communce, Meanchey District, on November 14, 2020. FN

Former CNRP activists told to testify in court over ‘plotting’

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has summonsed 67 activists of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) to testify in relation to plotting and incitement to caused social chaos. The acts were allegedly committed last year.

The summons issued by deputy prosecutor Seng Heang identified six of them as Kruy Sokhemrith, Seng Khorn, Tith Sophat, Roeurng Samnang, Khin Sokheang and Men Yorn and ordered them to appear on the morning of November 26.

Lawyer Sam Sokong, who was named in the summons to defend the cases on November 26, told The Post on November 15 he was unsure of how many clients he would represent as others implicated in the cases were also seeking his help.

“For those whom I cannot defend, I think the court will request the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia [BAKC] to handle them. The cases involve criminal offences so defence lawyers are need,” he said.

Municipal court spokesman Y Rin told The Post on November 15 that summons for 67 of the 68 activists were attached with a letter inviting lawyers to defend them because they were involved in plotting and incitement to cause social chaos. He said that does not mean lawyers mentioned in the cases were involved with the criminal offences.

“As of November 15, not only lawyer Sam Sokong has been named to defend the cases. The bar association has also assigned lawyers Yong Phanith, Sin Sovorn, Chhe Vibol, Chum Iek, Nhor Nhen and Ly Ratana to defend the accused,” he said.

Rin said the number of defence lawyers to represent the cases will vary depending on the actual situation as the accused might seek their help prior to the scheduled hearing.

None of the activists could be reached for comment. But former CNRP lawmaker Ou Chanroth was of the view that the plotting and incitement charges were too serious considering the political roles those activists played within the CNRP.

“I think they have the right to enter [politics]. As for the plotting charges, we don’t know whether they had the intention of toppling the government or not. Maybe they thought they were merely joining a movement to seek a change of the government, or maybe they were just exercising their [political] rights without intending to topple the government,” he said.

Chanroth added that even if they had an intention of toppling the government, the authorities should consider whether the activists had any influence in their calls for a change of leadership.

“In my opinion, first, they have no ability to do so. Second, there is no evidence proving they could do so. I think the court might exert pressure on that opposition group,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the