Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Supreme Court hears CNRP activist’s bail request

Supreme Court hears CNRP activist’s bail request

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Former CNRP Kong Mas in Prey Sar prison in January. Photo supplied

Supreme Court hears CNRP activist’s bail request

The Supreme Court held a hearing on Monday to review the case of former CNRP Svay Rieng provincial committee head Kong Mas, who was detained on January 19 in Phnom Penh for posting content on social media insulting Prime Minister Hun Sen.

He promised that he will not oppose the government if he is granted release on bail.

The court report said Mas, 31, posted a message on Facebook in April last year, which “insulted” Prime Minister Hun Sen’s leadership.

In the post, he claimed that he would print “more than 100,000 copies of the leaflet” which would be distributed in Svay Rieng province asking people not to vote – referring to a leaflet created by former opposition leader Sam Rainsy, which urged an election boycott.

“The current government – which is controlled by Hun Sen – takes actions against opposition parties which are kinda overly barbaric. I will not go vote. I’ll keep my hands free – hold a pen and teach the Cambodian children, that’d be more fruitful,” his Facebook post read.

The court report said that an ensuing police investigation led to his arrest. Mas was sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court for “insulting” under Article 502 of the Criminal Code, which is punishable by one to six days in prison and a fine from 1,000 to 100,000 riel ($0.25 to $25).

He also was charged with “incitement to commit a felony” under Article 495 of the Criminal Code, which is punishable for between six months and two years in prison and a fine of between one and four million riel. Mas has been detained in Prey Sar prison since.

The court report said Mas asked to be released on bail, but the Phnom Penh Municipal Court denied his request on January 30 and issued a warrant, which put him under the court’s supervision.

At the Supreme Court hearing on Monday, Mas – without his defence lawyer present – told the judge that he requests the court to release him on bail due to illness. He said he has high blood pressure and needs to earn money to support his wife and mother.

“I promise that if I am granted release on bail, I will not do anything to oppose the government. When I composed the message criticising the prime minister, the CNRP had only recently been dissolved – I was young and belligerent. I promise that I will not flee from Cambodia,” he said.

Prosecutor Veng Bunthoeun said: “The convict was charged by the lower court for ‘insulting’ and ‘inciting’. If we allow him to be released on bail, it will affect the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s current investigation procedures. I ask the court to uphold the verdict of the Appeal Court.”

Presiding Judge Khim Ponn said the Supreme Court will deliver its verdict on Friday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (