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Appeal Court shoots down bail for activist

Appeal Court shoots down bail for activist

The Court of Appeal yesterday denied a bail request from community activist Kuch Veng, who has been detained in Pursat Provincial Prison on fraud charges since May.

Y Soksan, senior investigator for rights group Adhoc, said rights groups and lawyers had sought bail on grounds of both illness and his large family.

“He is sick and needs to be treated by a doctor. And he has seven children to feed as well,” he said. Veng, an outspoken land rights activist, has been in prison since May following a series of protests against developer Pheapimex, which villagers have accused of land grabbing.

Veng stands accused of misappropriating $4,500 given to him by another villager in 2010, an accusation supporters have said was retaliation for his protests against the powerful company, owned by Choeung Sopheap, wife of ruling-party senator Lao Meng Khin.

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