Five current and former employees of human rights group Adhoc were released under court supervision from pre-trial detention tonight, a spokesman for the Phnom Penh Municipal court has confirmed, after languishing in pre-trial detention for 427 days.
“The court had issued a court order to end the pre-trial detention of the five people by Judge Theam Chan Piseth today and is now executing the procedure at the prison,” court spokesman Y Rin said.
“After the judge has finished the investigation, the judge sent the case for the trial and he ended the pre-trial detention.”
Rin added that the release of Adhoc staffers Nay Vanda, Ny Sokha, Yi Soksan, Lim Mony and former Adhoc staffer Ny Chakrya – who is deputy secretary-general of Cambodia’s National Election Committee – is conditional. The five were jailed in relation to a scandal involving opposition leader Kem Sokha and an alleged mistress.
“The court put them under supervision and placed three conditions — they cannot change their residence without permission from the court and cannot leave the country without the court permission and must answer to the summons,” Rin said.
Rin offered no further explanation for the release of the prisoners, whose arrest is widely viewed as politically motivated, saying “this is the judge’s decision”.
The detention and case against the “Adhoc 5” has been widely criticised locally and internationally by human rights groups, the United Nations and foreign governments.