Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - "Adhoc 5" see detention extended for six months

"Adhoc 5" see detention extended for six months

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
ADHOC officials Ny Sokha (R) and Yi Soksan (L) are escorted into the Supreme Court, where their appeal for bail was denied yesterday in Phnom Penh. Pha Lina

"Adhoc 5" see detention extended for six months

Defence lawyers’ suspicions were confirmed on Thursday, when a Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge extended the pre-trial detention of the so-called “Adhoc 5” by an additional six months, citing the need for more investigation into their case, which has already dragged on for a year.

Investigating Judge Theam Chanpiseth met with the accused and their lawyers at a closed hearing, informing them that because he needed to question more witnesses and investigate the case further, the five would have to remain in prison. In the last six months, however, only one witness has been questioned.

On Wednesday, a court clerk had said in separate interviews with media outlets that a judge had already decided to extend the group’s detention, only to backtrack hours later. Defence lawyers, however, took the apparent slip-up as evidence their clients’ continued detention was a foregone conclusion.

Adhoc staffers Lim Mony, Ny Sokha, Yi Soksan and Nay Vanda stand accused of bribing opposition leader Kem Sokha’s purported mistress for her silence regarding the alleged scandal, whereas former Adhoc staffer and election official Ny Chakrya is named as an accomplice to the crime.

The case is widely believed to be politically motivated, and has taken place against a backdrop of what observers have characterised as a crackdown on the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party.

Friday marks one year since the five were taken into custody, and after yesterday’s decision, the five could face up to six more months in prison before a judge has to decide to drop the charges or proceed to trial.

“The reason is the same. That is the investigation is still going on. And some witness have not been completed in investigation,” said Adhoc lawyer Lor Chunthy. “We think that the extension is not reasonable, because in the last six months, there has been little investigation.”

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh