Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP activist, guards spar over brawl account

CNRP activist, guards spar over brawl account

Opposition activist Ouk Pich Samnang is escorted into the Phnom Penh Appeal Court yesterday, where he was tried for the use of violence at a Freedom Park protest in 2014.
Opposition activist Ouk Pich Samnang is escorted into the Phnom Penh Appeal Court yesterday, where he was tried for the use of violence at a Freedom Park protest in 2014. Kim Sarom

CNRP activist, guards spar over brawl account

An opposition activist sentenced to two years’ jail over a violent brawl between protesters and Daun Penh security guards near the prime minister’s house in 2014 argued with court officials and prosecution witnesses during his appeal yesterday.

Ouk Pich Samnang was found guilty in September 2015 of aggravated violence and obstruction after driving his tuk-tuk into a security barricade and allegedly attacking guards.

He has been behind bars since 2014 and yesterday told reporters he had been beaten by prison guards.

During the hearing, Samnang shouted at the guards who claimed they were attacked during the protest, which was led by villagers from Preah Vihear who had arrived in Phnom Penh to lobby the premier over a land dispute in their home province.

He also sparred with judge Samrith Sophal, who ordered him to “listen to the question” before answering. The activist told the judge to let him “detail the story from the beginning” before arguing that he did not instigate the violence that broke out.

“I only shouted in the protest,” he said.

Daun Penh security guard chief Kim Vutha testified that 70 security guards, deployed to prevent protesters from reaching the premier’s house, were attacked upon meeting the group near Wat Botum.

He recalled that Samnang drove his tuk-tuk into the barricade before attacking the guards. Five guards testified they had spent more than $300 each on medical bills after being beaten.

A verdict is due on July 20.


  • Restrictions re-imposed in capital as Covid cases surge

    Amid the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has shown no sign of subsiding with 750 infections and 10 deaths reported on June 2 alone, the Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has decided to re-impose the suspension of all occupations and business activities deemed as posing high risk of

  • Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway 51% complete

    The construction of the nearly $2 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway is 51.35 per cent complete and is expected to be finished in 2023, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of state Vasim Sorya. Invested in by Cambodian PPSHV Expressway Co Ltd, the first expressway in

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • US embassy guard gets Covid despite two doses of Pfizer jab

    The Covid-19 tracking commission on June 4 said a security guard at the US embassy in Phnom Penh had contracted the novel coronavirus, despite having received a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot two weeks ago. Embassy spokesperson Chad Roedemeier confirmed the SARS-CoV-2 infection to The

  • Kingdom set to be a gold producer

    Cambodia will soon join the roster of gold producing countries after the government announced the commencement of commercial gold mining operations in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province's Keo Seima district from June 21. Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 10 announced that after 14 years of