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Court calls Svay Rieng villagers to testify

Court calls Svay Rieng villagers to testify

THE Court of Appeal yesterday summoned opposition leader Sam Rainsy and two jailed villagers from Svay Rieng province to a hearing scheduled for August 9, after a hearing in their case on Tuesday was postponed when defence lawyers walked out of the courtroom.

Lawyer Sam Sokong said he had elected not to participate in the hearing scheduled for Tuesday because his clients, Meas Srey and Prum Chea, who in January were found guilty of destroying public property in the uprooting of border markers along the border with Vietnam and sentenced to one year in prison, had not been permitted to make the trip to Phnom Penh.

He added that their case could not proceed fairly if they were denied the right to testify.

Appeals Court prosecutor Nget Sarath said yesterday that he had “summoned those villagers as the lawyers requested”.

He added that lawyers for opposition leader Sam Rainsy – who was convicted in absentia of the same crime as well as racial incitement, receiving a two-year sentence – had also been issued a summons.

Sam Rainsy is currently in self-imposed exile abroad.

His lawyer, Choung Choungy, said yesterday that he had received a summons to the August 9 hearing, and that he planned to attend on his client’s behalf.

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