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

  • Ministry issues warning over coronavirus outbreak

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday asked the public to be on “high alert” as a new virus wreaks havoc across Asia. However, no cases have been reported in the Kingdom thus far. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has raised the alarm for its similarity to

  • First case of coronavirus reported in the Kingdom

    Cambodia reported its first case of the deadly 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) on Monday, Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng announced. He said medical specialists detected the virus in a Chinese tourist in Sihanoukville. The minister said Jia Jianhua, 60, travelled from Wuhan city, where the outbreak

  • PM urges precaution amid virus outbreak

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday called on all Cambodians to bump up precautions to avoid contracting the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that has already killed more than 50 people in China. The prime minister told the public to remain calm but alert about the possibility of

  • Gov’t slams NGO over 2019 corruption report

    The government on Thursday slammed a report that described the Kingdom as highly corrupt. Government spokesperson Phay Siphan dismissed the latest Transparency International (TI) report as “just an advertisement of NGOs to promote their own interests”. Released on Thursday, the report puts Cambodia near the

  • Gov’t answers garment buyers’ complaint

    Some of the biggest buyers in the Kingdom’s garment sector have urged Prime Minister Hun Sen to address issues faced by unions and workers – a request a senior official said was out of touch with the situation on the ground. The letter addressed to

  • App to connect farmers to millions

    The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has soft-launched a mobile app that connects farmers with potential buyers and gives them access to critical market information. The ministry’s Agriculture Marketing Office chief Meach Yady said the ‘CamAgriMarket’ app gives farmers a platform to showcase