Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sokha’s defence: We may request foreign-witness trial testimony

Sokha’s defence: We may request foreign-witness trial testimony

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Kem Sokha waves to supporters as he leaves the Phnom Penh Municipal Court after attending his hearing on March 16. Hong Menea

Sokha’s defence: We may request foreign-witness trial testimony

The defence team of former opposition leader Khem Sokha, who stands trial on treason charge, is considering requesting the Phnom Penh Municipal Court trial chamber to summon witnesses from the US, EU, Germany, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), among others.

Pheng Heng, one of Sokha’s defence lawyers, said that after the March 30 hearing, where some witnesses had already testified, his team may request that the court summon more witnesses. The witnesses would be individuals whom civil party lawyers had accused of involvement in Sokha’s “conspiracy with a foreign power” to topple the government, he said.

“We will discuss whether we should request additional witnesses that will expose the truth about these allegations,” he added.

According to Heng, during the March 30 hearing, the court asked questions relating to events that took place before the 2013 general election, such as the formation of Sokha’s Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP). His defence team had objected to this line of questioning, saying it was ground that had already been covered and only slowed the trial process down.

“We blocked the questions that have already been asked so as not to waste time. We want proceedings to move quickly so we can find justice for our client,” he said.

He said the trial chamber also viewed five video clips about the policies of the CNRP and the party’s formation.

When asked whether the trial might reach a conclusion anytime soon, Heng said: “This is the last procedure the court has set, but if we look at the case, there are many more people involved.

“The defence team cannot say with any certainty whether it will come to an end soon, or whether it will drag on. It depends on how many more questions need to be asked and answered. It also depends on how many more witnesses may be summoned.”

Municipal court spokesman Phlong Sophal said the trial will resume on April 6.


  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro