Chan Soveth pictured outside the Phnom Penh court, Dec. 24, 2012. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post
Charges against rights investigator Chan Soveth were dropped today, six months after the highly controversial accusation of assisting a ringleader of the so-called Kratie secession was levied.
“I got the information letter this morning in my office. The letter said that in the case of Mr Chan Soveth, the judge decided to drop the charge,” said Soveth’s lawyer, Sam Sok Oeun.
In late December, the senior Adhoc investigator appeared for questioning at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on the charge of assisting a perpetrator.
The rights worker stood accused of aiding Ma Chhang, one of five men whom the government said masterminded a separatist movement in remote Pro Ma village.
One day after security forces stormed in to disband the movement – shooting dead a 14-year old girl in the process and driving out hundreds embroiled in a long-standing land dispute with rubber concessionaire Casotim – officials named Chhang and four others as ringleaders.
To contact the reporter on this story: Abby Seiff at [email protected]