Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sokha continues call for dropping of charge after bail conditions reduced

Sokha continues call for dropping of charge after bail conditions reduced

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has reduced bail conditions for Kem Sokha more than two years after he had been charged with treason. Kem Sokha via Facebook

Sokha continues call for dropping of charge after bail conditions reduced

Not satisfied with having his bail conditions reduced, allowing him to travel freely in Cambodia, Kem Sokha says he wants his charge totally dropped.

“As an innocent man who has been in detention for two years even without being found guilty, I continue to demand that the charge against me is dropped.

“I hope that the decision made today is just the first step. I and other citizens who have lost our political freedom still need to find a solution and real justice,” said Sokha, the president of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).

He said he would meet Cambodians later and will reveal his schedule in due course.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court reduced Sokha's bail conditions more than two years after he was charged with treason.

Y Rin, a spokesperson for the Phnom Penh Municipal Court confirmed to The Post on Sunday that Sokha’s new bail conditions allowed him to travel anywhere within the country.

“He must respect the three points laid out by the court. In the past, he could only move within a certain area, but now he can travel in a wider area,” Y Rin said.
According to the announcement by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Sunday, Sokha must remain within Cambodia, must not be involved in political activism and must respond to any summons by the authorities.

The reduction of Sokha's bail conditions came following a request by his lawyers considering his health condition, good cooperation with the court and having respected all his bail conditions.

Sokha was arrested in September 2017 and charged with "conspiracy with a foreign power". He faces a maximum of 30 years in prison if found guilty.

In September last year, he was granted bail on the condition he remained at his house in the capital's Tuol Kork district. This came after he had spent a year in the Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum.

Meng Sopheary, one of Sokha’s four lawyers, told The Post on Sunday that his legal team had lodged a request with the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to have their client's charge dropped.

She said Sokha and his team of lawyers were still fully unclear as to the bail conditions banning him from involvement in political activities.

Sokha, she said, had yet to leave his house as he wanted to better understand his bail conditions.

“We, the co-lawyers, filed a request not for reducing the bail conditions, but for having our client's charge dropped. But we received only a change in his bail conditions. We continue to demand that his charge is dropped,” Sopheary said.

Human rights NGOs welcomed Sokha's reduced bail conditions and also called for his charge be dropped.

US Ambassador Patrick Murphy echoed the demand.

“We note the partial lifting of restrictions on former National Assembly vice-president Kem Sokha. This is a step in the right direction, but for genuine progress, his full rights and freedoms must be restored,” he wrote on Twitter.

He added that he hoped to see Sokha participate fully in politics as soon as possible.

MOST VIEWED

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of

  • NA, Senate set for bill on ‘emergency’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested the Senate to convene an extraordinary meeting to review the draft law that aims to put the Kingdom in a state of emergency after the bill reached the National Assembly (NA) on Friday. The draft law, which was approved

  • Temporarily laid-off workers to get just $70

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced changes in the allowances for temporarily laid-off garment workers from receiving 60 per cent of the minimum wage to a flat $70 because factories cannot pay, he said. Workers will also not be required to attend training courses after more than 100 factories

  • Tourists can now prolong their stay

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said tourists holding Visa T and arriving in the Kingdom after January 1 will be allowed to prolong their stay until they are able to return home. The decision comes as Cambodia and most countries take measures to

  • PM: Law likely next week

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the draft law aiming to place the Kingdom in a state of emergency amid the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to be approved after the Khmer New Year, though he said there is a slim chance of enforcement given the current