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Analyst grilled in court

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Political analyst Kim Sok, who was arrested for defaming the government, was summoned to Phnom Penh court yesterday for questioning. Pha Lina

Analyst grilled in court

Political analyst Kim Sok (pictured above), who faces two defamation and incitement lawsuits filed by Prime Minister Hun Sen, was questioned at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday.

During the questioning – which revolved around his comments on Radio Free Asia (RFA) regarding alleged government involvement in the murder of political analyst Kem Ley – Sok stood by his previous statements. Ley was gunned down in a Phnom Penh petrol station on July 10 in what many suspect was a politically motivated assassination.

“They asked [about] my intentions in what I said on RFA, but I commented [in order] to show people the truth,” he said after the three-hour interrogation.

Investigating judge Ros Piseth declined to comment on the hearing, citing professional ethics. According to defence lawyer Choung Choungy, the judge merely asked “whether the client accepted or admitted that he had” made the comments as reported, to which his client confirmed that he had.

Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry’s General Department of Prisons issued a letter on Monday denying Sok’s prior allegation that government representatives had tried to pressure him into sending an apology to the prime minister. The analyst had raised the accusations after his appeal against pre-trial detention failed on March 6.

The Prisons Department statement reads that “if there is any intimidation from the prisoners or any individual under the authority of the prison, Kim Sok should report this personally to solve the problem”.

Sok’s appeal hearing on his request for bail will be heard today.

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