Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Breaking: Kem Sokha officially charged with ‘treason’

Breaking: Kem Sokha officially charged with ‘treason’

Opposition leader Kem Sokha is escorted by police following his midnight arrest in Phnom Penh early Sunday morning. AFP
Opposition leader Kem Sokha is escorted by police following his midnight arrest in Phnom Penh early Sunday morning. AFP

Breaking: Kem Sokha officially charged with ‘treason’

Jailed opposition leader Kem Sokha was officially charged with treason this morning, about 36 hours after he was arrested from his Phnom Penh residence in a midnight raid by more than 100 police and sent to a Tbong Khmum prison.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Ly Sophanna said that after reviewing the case, questioning Sokha and verifying evidence, there were sufficient grounds for prosecutors to charge the opposition leader under Article 443 of the Criminal Code for “conspiring with foreign power”.

“Kem Sokha, head of Cambodia National Rescue Party, was arrested by police for committing [a] red-handed crime related to a secret plan and the activities of conspiracy between Kem Sokha and foreigners which causes chaos and affects the Kingdom of Cambodia,” an official statement from the court reads.

Sokha was arrested midnight Sunday after a 2013 video surfaced where he claims to have received United States’ assistance for planning his political career. He was questioned for more than four hours yesterday at Tbong Khmum’s Trapaeng Phlong prison by a team of three Phnom Penh prosecutors.

One of Sokha’s five lawyers, Meng Sopheary, said she had only heard that the CNRP’s president had been charged but was unaware of the exact charges, whereas another lawyer, Sam Sokong, said he had yet to be officially notified about the charges.

A government statement on Sunday said Sokha had violated Article 443 of the Criminal Code for “conspiring with foreign power”, which comes with a 15 to 30 year prison sentence. The statement also claimed that crime was a red-handed crime, despite the video being close to four years old and Sokha entitled to parliamentary immunity.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42