Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Activist’s arrest could come soon, judge says

Activist’s arrest could come soon, judge says

Activist’s arrest could come soon, judge says

The investigating judge involved in ongoing legal proceedings against human rights activist Ny Chakrya has said a warrant for the man’s arrest is under consideration after Chakrya failed to respond to a subpoena to appear in court yesterday. However, Chakrya’s employer, rights group Adhoc, said the subpoena is not legally binding because it was not delivered to him personally.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court investigating judge Veng Hort yesterday would not respond directly to questions about the subpoena’s validity and whether it was delivered to Chakrya personally.

“If he had no clear reason [for his absence], we will take the second option: summoning him to court. If the second option is not effective, we will use the third: arrest,” he said.

Article 188 of the Cambodian Criminal Procedure Code states: “A judicial police officer, a judicial police agent, or bailiff shall deliver the subpoena to the cited person.

The cited person receives a copy of the decision and shall sign the original subpoena, which will then be returned to the investigating judge. The judicial police officer, judicial police agent or the bailiff shall notify the investigating judge of any difficulty in their mission of delivering the subpoena.”

According to a statement released on October 9 by Adhoc, the subpoena was only shown to Chakrya’s wife, who was allowed to take a photo of the document but not provided a copy, and no signature or fingerprint was given.

Chakrya faces charges of public defamation and pressuring the court’s jurisdiction over comments he made during two press conferences in May in Siem Reap, during which he denounced the detention of two villagers involved in a land dispute. Responding to the subpoena earlier this month, Chakrya defended his comments at the May press conference.

“What I said in the press conference was true, the investigative judge and deputy prosecutor arrested and detained two villagers without evidence,” he said.

The case was initiated by two Siem Reap Provincial Court officials – investigating judge Ky Rithy and deputy prosecutor Sok Keo Bandith – whose complaint against Chakrya was dismissed by the Siem Reap Provincial Court.

The case was then taken up by Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

The case has been slammed by the International Committee of Jurists, which branded it “legal harassment” and a “rights violation”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government set to slash holidays

    The private sector has welcomed the government’s move to reduce the number of public holidays in the in the Kingdom – known for having the most public holidays in the world – by seven days. However, the government had just added the “Day of Remembrance” on

  • Kith Theang being held in PJ prison

    Kith Theang, the brother of prominent businessman Kith Meng, was charged by Phnom Penh Municipal Court late on Monday and sent to the capital’s Police Judiciare (PJ) prison over the nearly 50kg of drugs found in a February 23 raid by authorities on the Rock

  • ‘Kingdom lacks up to 400MW in available electricity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the general public, hoteliers and businesspeople with generators to use them as back-up as the Electricity Authority of Cambodia cannot generate enough electricity to meet needs due to low water levels in power station reservoirs. On Saturday evening

  • Sor Chandeth defends his criticism of Hun Sen

    Former senator Sor Chandeth has defended his choice of words when criticising Hun Sen, saying he was merely speaking metaphorically to attack the Prime Minister’s political life, not his actual person, as the latter seeks damages. [img] Chandeth spoke to The Post on Thursday,