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

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Takeo hand-woven silk items provide local high-quality alternative to imports

    After graduating from university and beginning her career as a civil servant at the the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Khieu Sina found time to establish a business that aligns with her true passion – quality hand-woven Khmer goods. Her product line, known as Banteay Srei,

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival draws to close

    Cambodia's 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival wrapped up successfully on November 28 after a four-day run, with the film “Voice of the Night” awarded top prize for 2022. Sum Sithen, the organiser of the short film festival, told The Post that the number of attendees to the