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CNRP pol turns to high court

Jailed opposition lawmaker Um Sam An walks through the grounds of the Phnom Penh Supreme Court in August this year
Jailed opposition lawmaker Um Sam An walks through the grounds of the Phnom Penh Supreme Court in August this year. Heng Chivoan

CNRP pol turns to high court

Jailed opposition lawmaker Um Sam An will take his case to the Supreme Court after the Court of Appeal upheld his guilty verdict and sentence on Friday.

Sam An was sentenced to two and a half years behind bars on October 11 for “incitement to commit a felony” and “incitement to cause discrimination”, charges stemming from a string of controversial Facebook posts in which he claimed the government had ceded land to Vietnam by using incorrect maps to delineate the border.

Sam An’s lawyer, Hem Socheat, yesterday reiterated that his client’s immunity as a CNRP lawmaker was never lifted by the National Assembly, making the proceedings “illegal”.

“I will file a complaint against the judgment of the Appeal Court,” he said. “The activity of my client was for the territorial integrity of the nation and to protect the country, so he did not do any wrongful act.”

Socheat added that while two other of his high-profile opposition clients – CNRP deputy leader Kem Sokha and commune chief Seang Chet – had been released via royal pardons orchestrated by Prime Minister Hun Sen, he did “not expect any other political prisoner to be released” under that arrangement.

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