The Appeal Court is to hear an application on July 4 to quash legal proceedings against Kem Sokha, acting president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, over his failure to obey repeated court summonses.
Sokha’s lawyers filed an appeal on June 17 asking the higher court to rule that the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s repeated summonses of Sokha were illegal.
Sokha is being sued by his alleged mistress Khom Chandaraty for $300,000, and facing accusations for procurement of prostitution, cases observers maintain are politically motivated.
However, only the summonses Sokha received for ignoring other summonses in those cases will be dealt with during the Appeal Court hearing.
“According to legal procedures, if the Appeal Court finds that authorities of Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s actions were incorrect, the case will be ended and there will be no more proceedings in the future,” said Sam Sokong, one of Sokha’s attorneys.
Sokha has been summonsed to appear at the Appeal Court hearing, but Sokong could not confirm whether he would attend.
Reacting to Sokha’s latest summons, Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak yesterday said the ministry would wait for direction from the courts before attempting to arrest Sokha.
“The Ministry of Interior will take no action relating to the affair between Kem Sokha and the court, but the ministry has the duty of implementing a warrant if the court makes an order to bring him in,” Sopheak added.
Meanwhile, CNRP lawmakers yesterday met in Manila with party leader Sam Rainsy – himself in self-exile to avoid what are perceived as politically motivated charges – with the party’s chief whip Son Chhay saying the group had discussed their course of action, and that a return to normalcy in the political realm was in the offing.
“At this meeting we can choose a decision for the CNRP’s next step,” Chhay said.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan dismissed the idea that any solution to the CNRP’s woes could be found, given that there was no crisis in the country. “There will be no result to that meeting unless Rainsy takes responsibility before the law.”