Adhoc official Chhan Sokunthea was questioned at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday in relation to a case involving four of her colleagues, an election official and an opposition commune chief jailed over accusations of bribing a witness.
Sokunthea, who heads the NGO’s women and children’s rights department, had been scheduled to appear yesterday, but opted to come in a day early because she had to travel abroad for work, confirmed Soeng Sen Karuna, the group’s senior investigator for human rights.
The summons relates to charges filed against four jailed Adhoc staffers – Lim Mony, Yi Soksan, Ny Sokha and Nay Vanda – and National Election Committee official Ny Chakrya and CNRP commune chief Seang Chet for their alleged involvement in a sex scandal surrounding acting CNRP president Kem Sokha and his alleged mistress Khom Chandaraty.
“Chhan Sokuthea appeared before the court and answered questions from investigating judge Theam Chanpiseth,” Sen Karuna said via text message yesterday.
While Sen Karuna maintained that he was unaware of the content of her interrogation, he said her leaving the country had nothing to do with the case or fears for her safety.
Court spokesman and administrator Y Rin would only confirm the change in schedule and said: “I couldn’t answer more about the questioning.”
While all five accused have been questioned over the past three months, Sokunthea was the second Adhoc official currently outside of custody to be questioned by the court – the first being Prey Veng coordinator Eang Kimly.