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Border Dispute: Rainsy trial to go ahead next month

Border Dispute: Rainsy trial to go ahead next month

Border Dispute
OPPOSITION leader Sam Rainsy will be tried at Phnom Penh Municipal Court on August 6 on charges of falsifying public documents and spreading disinformation, court officials said yesterday. Deputy judge Ker Sakhan said the trial would be conducted in absentia if the Sam Rainsy Party president, currently in self-exile abroad, did not attend. In January, Svay Rieng provincial court sentenced Sam Rainsy to two years in jail for his involvement in an October 2009 incident in which he joined villagers in uprooting six wooden border posts. An appeal hearing in that case is scheduled for August 9. The new charges refer to maps and documents published by Sam Rainsy after the Svay Rieng verdict, alleging widespread Vietnamese encroachments in Cambodian territory. If convicted on both charges, he faces up to 18 years in prison. Sam Rainsy’s lawyer, Choung Choungy, said he could not predict the result of the trial, but that he had “already prepared enough evidence” to defend Sam Rainsy. SRP lawmaker Chea Poch said that if the court is independent it will acquit the SRP leader. VONG SOKHENG

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