Independent media observer Pa Nguon Teang and migrant rights advocate Moeun Tola both missed scheduled hearings at the Phnom Penh court yesterday, and have requested the court delay their appearances.
Nguon Teang, Tola and activist monk But Buntenh were all accused by Cambodian Youth Party President Pich Sros of misappropriating funds for murdered analyst Kem Ley’s funeral stupa.
Sros, who did not sit on Ley’s funeral committee, filed his lawsuit after he was criticised for a Kem Ley fundraiser in which he took in only $750 after spending $2,300 on food, transport and “support”.
He has maintained the failure of his fundraiser was accidental, but has not presented any evidence for wrongdoing on the part of the three accused. Sros has recently been accused of being a ruling party plant after filing a request to the Ministry of Interior to dissolve the opposition CNRP.
Sam Chamroeun, lawyer for Nguon Teang, who is currently abroad, requested a delay this morning. Tola said he had already requested a delay on Friday. Buntenh is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday, but has said he will not attend.