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Supreme Court set to deliver Chamroeun, Sophea verdict

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Ket Khy, the defence lawyer of two former Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) parliamentarians, Nhay Chamroeun and Kong Sophea. Hean Rangsey

Supreme Court set to deliver Chamroeun, Sophea verdict

Two former Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) parliamentarians who were viciously beaten outside the National Assembly in 2015 will have their verdicts delivered by The Supreme Court on Monday.

The former parliamentarians – Nhay Chamroeun and Kong Sophea – told the lower courts that they were forcibly removed from their vehicles and beaten by an angry mob outside the National Assembly on October 26, 2015.

A video of the incident obtained by The Post depicted masked men surrounding Chamroeun as they curse at him, stomp on his chest and spit on him.

Their defence lawyer Ket Khy said on Monday that the men spent nearly $70,000 collectively on medical bills, adding that the original compensation of 40 million riel (just over $10,000) was not enough to cover repairs to their cars, much less medical bills.

“We filed a complaint to the Supreme Court to increase the compensation to account for the costs incurred in seeking months of treatment in local and Thai hospitals. We demand one billion riel ($245,000), but if that cannot be achieved than something close to that sum is acceptable.

“We cannot make any assumptions regarding this case as we have to wait for the verdict to be delivered on October 28. We are the civil party in the case, so we have the right to demand reparations that are not equivalent to the [financial] damage incurred.” Khy said.

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia defines a “civil party” as a “person or a legal entity who suffered physical, material or psychological harm as a direct consequence of at least one of the crimes alleged against the charged person”.

It specifies that the civil party is entitled to “request collective and moral reparations” which may extend beyond physical damage.

The attacks took place as more than 1,000 people surrounded the National Assembly building demanding that Kem Sokha, the then first vice-president of the National Assembly, step down.

Three members of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Body Guard Unit – Mao Hoeung, Sot Vanny and Chhay Sarith – were ordered to pay to six million riel ($1,500) to the state and sentenced to four years in prison with three years suspended for acts of intentional violence with aggravating circumstances under Article 218 of the Criminal Code.

The trio walked free a little more than one year after they were imprisoned for their role in the attacks.

“We cannot file a complaint about the punishment [of the trio], but we hope that the Supreme Court will examine my clients’ probative,” Khy said.

Supreme Court prosecutor Nao Monychort said the plaintiffs had only filed a complaint on the compensation offered, rather than the criminal charges. He urged the Supreme Court to consider all evidence, including the victims’, before delivering its verdict.

“I would like the Supreme Court to rule as per legal procedure, so both parties will no longer have doubts,” he said.


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