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Supreme Court to rule on bail for ex-CNRP members

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The former CNRP members were arrested for ‘incitement’ after showing support for self-proclaimed CNRP leader Sam Rainsy. Kim Sarom

Supreme Court to rule on bail for ex-CNRP members

Ten former Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party members who were arrested for “incitement” after expressing support for the self-exiled politician and self-proclaimed CNRP acting president Sam Rainsy in 2017 and 2018 will know if they will get bail on August 14.

The Supreme Court will decide on the matter after the Court of Appeal denied their bail request on August 7.

Lor Chunthy, a defence lawyer for the 10, told The Post on Sunday that his clients included a former commune chief, a teacher and the assistant to a commune chief.

The teacher in question is Keo Thai, who taught at the Boribo High Scool in Kampong Chhang and is a member of the Cambodian Independent Teachers Association.

He was arrested in March for offering online English-language classes after schools were closed because of Covid-19.

During the trial, the defendants pleaded for bail. They argued that they have diseases and specific addresses, and will not flee, Chunthy said.

Chunthy requested the Supreme Court to consider releasing his clients on bail as requested.

He told the judge that the bail application was straight forward – his clients all lived in the country, they were currently living in prison with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension and stomach disease and they all have poor families.

“I concluded the hearing by saying Covid-19 has affected the whole economy and the State has to spend money keeping them in prison, so the court should consider releasing them.

“In this country, in the Covid-19-era, they are not allowed to enter or leave the country. So it is not possible for my clients to flee abroad,” he said.

Chunthy said the authorities have the ability through technology to track his clients and if the police want to find them it would take less than an hour. “The decision depends on the court,” Chunthy said.

He said the case against his clients started two years ago, but the police arrested and detained them during March and April in Phnom Penh and other provinces.

He said all the cases against his clients are currently under investigation by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

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