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PM: Resumption of Sokha trial to be decided by court

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Sokha’s treason trial was postponed in March to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the Kingdom. Heng Chivoan

PM: Resumption of Sokha trial to be decided by court

Prime Minister Hun Sen has confirmed that former opposition leader Kem Sokha’s treason case will be decided by the courts according to procedure, said government spokesperson Phay Siphan.

On Friday, Hun Sen led a Cabinet meeting to approve several draft laws.

He mentioned his recent meeting with Sokha, who visited Hun Sen last week to express his condolences for the passing of the latter’s mother-in-law.

But Siphan said Hun Sen did not say what was discussed with Sokha.

“What he [Hun Sen] said was that there was no other way outside the courts to decide this case. The government does not have a tendency or attempt to interfere with court affairs,” Siphan said.

Ministry of Justice spokesman Chin Malin told The Post on Sunday that the court will proceed with the trial normally, and that the meeting between Hun Sen and Sokha played no role in its outcome.

Malin said: “The meeting and discussion with the Prime Minister was a separate matter. It is not linked to court procedures. So court procedures will continue as usual as set by law.

“His case is underway, but was delayed as per requests from lawyers from both sides. When the Covid-19 situation is over and both sides request the case to resume, the court will do so,” he said.

Sokha’s treason trial was postponed in March to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the Kingdom.

Chan Chen, one of Sokha’s four defence lawyers, said on Sunday that his team had not thought of requesting to resume the trial, but would instead wait until the Ministry of Health and the government announces that Cambodia is no longer under threat from Covid-19.

Ky Tech, the lawyer representing the government, could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

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