Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sokha trial continues at slower pace

Sokha trial continues at slower pace

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Kem Sokha greets his supporters as he leaves the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on October 05. Heng Chivoan

Sokha trial continues at slower pace

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on October 12 continued with Kem Sokha's trial on charges of treason, hearing witness testimony as the former leader of the now-defunct Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) stands accused of conspiring with foreign powers to topple the government.

Municipal court spokesman Plang Sophal told The Post that Sokha's trial is now in the witness testimony phase and the proceedings mostly involve the questioning of witnesses by both the prosecution and Sokha's defence team.

“There were several witnesses this morning and this afternoon we heard statements from three more witnesses. We will continue with questions for them in the morning tomorrow [October 13],” he said.

Chak Sopheap, currently executive director of the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights (CCHR), said six witnesses were present in the courtroom – three from Phnom Penh and others from Preah Sihanouk province.

Yim Sinan, one of Sokha’s close associates, said the questioning of the witnesses seemed lengthy because the prosecutors were trying to “waste time”.

He suggested that the judge do more preparation of procedures for witness questioning.

“The judge and the lawyers for the plaintiff both asked about relations between Chhim Phal Vorun and the CCHR run by Kem Sokha when it was first established, and about their interactions with foreigners," he said.

Phal Vorun was formerly a member of the CCHR – founded by Sokha – and currently a senior government official.

Sinan added that the court summoning all of these witnesses at the same time did not benefit or assist the accused, noting that the prosecutor had also questioned a woman who studied at the Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) in Indonesia a few years ago about a colour revolution, though it was totally irrelevant.

In the afternoon, the court continued to question more witnesses, and Ma Chetra, a witness called by the prosecution, voiced the group's apparent displeasure.

“Today I appeared in court as summoned for a second time and again I was not questioned because there are several witnesses and there isn't enough time. Hence, as a witness, I will have to appear in court once again tomorrow morning,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • New int’l airport nearly half complete as travel industry returns to life

    Construction of a new airport that is slated to serve the capital has passed the 43 per cent completion mark, raising prospects for a proper recovery in the civil aviation and tourism sectors as international travellers return to the Kingdom in increasingly large numbers. The figure

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,