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Court ends probe into Sokha's ignoring of summons

CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann speaks to supporters and the media during a briefing at the CNRP headquarters in Phnom Penh yesterday.
CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann speaks to supporters and the media during a briefing at the CNRP headquarters in Phnom Penh yesterday. Heng Chivoan

Court ends probe into Sokha's ignoring of summons

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday said an investigation into acting CNRP president Kem Sokha’s failure to appear for court summonses has concluded.

In a letter dated Friday and revealed publicly yesterday, judge Than Leng confirmed the investigation had been completed and that it was now up to the prosecutor to either file charges and move toward a trial or to drop the case.

“The investigating judge is only announcing the completion of investigation,” said court spokesman Ly Sophanna. “The court can have more procedures, so it does not mean that this case has ended.”

Neither the letter nor Sophanna divulged details about the investigation’s findings.

The court had previously summonsed Sokha in relation to a $300,000 suit filed by his alleged mistress Khom Chandaraty in a case involving “procurement or prostitution”.

Following Sokha’s refusal to appear and the National Assembly’s decision to allow the ongoing probe to continue despite his parliamentary immunity, the court issued another summons asking him to explain his absence at court.

Hem Socheat, one of Sokha’s five lawyers, yesterday said he had only seen the letter and had yet to receive formal documents from the court. “But, we feel that [prosecutors] will proceed the case for trial, and in that case, we are ready to file an appeal,” he said, again calling the entire investigation illegal.

CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann refused to comment on the details of the case, but in a morning briefing yesterday, he referred to the situation as a political stalemate.

“We are seeing a deadlock ahead of us. The CNRP still considers this political situation unclear and the cases [in court] are … politically motivated,” he said.

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