Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP ‘insurrection’ appeal starts at Appeal Court



CNRP ‘insurrection’ appeal starts at Appeal Court

Former CNRP activists convicted of leading an alleged 'insurrection' during 2013 protests arrive at court on Monday for an appeal hearing.
Former CNRP activists convicted of leading an alleged 'insurrection' during 2013 protests arrive at court on Monday for an appeal hearing. Pha Lina

CNRP ‘insurrection’ appeal starts at Appeal Court

Updated at 10:35am 23 April 2018

The Appeal Court on Monday started a three-day hearing for 11 Cambodia National Rescue Party activists who were convicted by a lower court of leading an alleged “insurrection” during opposition protests at Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park following the disputed 2013 elections.

The insurrection convictions are widely considered to be politically motivated after little evidence was provided to support allegations of the crime during the 2015 Phnom Penh Municipal Court trial. The 11 were accused of inciting protesters to violence after they turned on notorious Daun Penh district security guards following months of the guards’ brutal crackdowns on nonviolent protests. The defendants maintain they were actually trying to calm the violence.

Sam Sokong, one of the five lawyers representing the 11 activists, said the court is conducting a trial on the merits of the charges, adding that three of the activists had already been questioned by the court before Khmer New Year.

The three include Meach Sovannara, Khin Chamroeun and Oeur Narith, all of whom were given 20 years for leading the alleged insurrection. The remaining eight activists were given seven years in prison.

Sokong said the proceedings could be rushed because of the limited number of allotted trial days and large number of accused, and also leave little time for the legal team to revise their strategies. “If we think about the accused, it is not good procedurally because the accused need enough time to defend themselves and the lawyers need time to consult with their clients,” he said.

In 2016, the Appeal Court agreed to lawyers’ requests to split the appeal into two cases: one challenging the verdict on purely procedural grounds and the other challenging the substance of the verdict.

The 11 have so far appealed the procedures used in the Phnom Penh court during their 2015 trial, claiming that the judgment was announced in the absence of their lawyers. The Appeal Court last year rejected this motion.

Multiple bail requests have also been rejected by the Appeal Court and Supreme Court.

Updates to follow

This version of the story updates the photo and the story to show the hearing has started.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Phnom Penh underpass opens to ease traffic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced a temporary opening of the 488m underpass at the Chaom Chao roundabout in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, which was recently completed to connect traffic from National Road 4 to Russian Federation Blvd. The move is to reduce

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Show evidence of Chinese military base, critics told

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday said he had had enough of certain countries and opposition groups claiming Cambodia had allowed China to base its military in Cambodia and dared critics to show clear evidence. Hun Sen made the remarks while presiding over a groudbreaking

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from