The Supreme Court yesterday upheld a lower court’s decision to deny jailed political analyst Kim Sok’s request for bail, also rejecting his request to summons Prime Minister Hun Sen, the plaintiff in the two defamation and incitement cases that landed the analyst in detention.
“The case is regarding the accused, Kim Sok’s, request for bail and for the plaintiff to testify in court. The Supreme Court would like to uphold the decision of the lower courts,” presiding Judge Kim Sathavy said.
Kim Sok was first sued by the premier after making remarks in a Radio Free Asia interview that Hun Sen says implicated the government in the assassination of fellow political analyst Kem Ley. He was slapped with a second suit days later – and arrested just days after that – over comments in which he had attempted to clarify his original remarks.
The premier’s lawyer, Ky Tech, said yesterday that there was no need for the plaintiff to testify in court as “Kim Sok gave the interview to Radio Free Asia alone”, and he “also admitted that it was his voice when he was questioned at the municipal court”.
“I think [this] is the right decision because the court is worried that if Kim Sok is released on bail, he would commit a new crime which can affect the investigation of the municipal court,” Tech added.
Observers, however, have suggested that there is a political element to the case, given the speediness of Sok’s arrest and the extreme sensitivity surrounding Ley’s assassination.