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Sokha’s defence ‘behind delay’

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Former opposition leader Kem Sokha leaves the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in January. Hong Menea

Sokha’s defence ‘behind delay’

At his 41st hearing, former opposition leader Kem Sokha answered questions from his defence team and offered evidence that they hoped would exonerate him in this treason case.

Chan Chen, one of Sokha’s lawyers, told reporters after the May 25 hearing that it did not progress as quickly as his colleagues and his client would have liked; however, he said the trial chamber had offered them the chance to ask Sokha 12 questions that helped shed light on the case.

The main question was whether Sokha had signed any agreements or conspired with a foreign state or agency to topple the government.

Chen said Sokha answered all of the questions and proved that he did not do any of the things as charged by the prosecutor.

The lawyer said Sokha also played a video clip filmed in Prey Veng province, which supported his statements and indicated that not only did he not conspire with a foreign power, he would not even bow his head to a foreigner.

Municipal court spokesman Plang Sophal told The Post on May 25 that the hearing had made no significant progress because although the trial chamber had limited the subject of questions to party registration and election outcomes, the defence had seen fit to ask questions about the arrest of – and charges against – the accused.

“Doing so disrespected the decision of the trial chamber. In addition, these questions were already asked at the beginning of the second and third hearings. But we have been accused of prolonging the hearing with intent,” he said.

The trial will resume on June 1.


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