Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Court hears appeal of Tep Vanny, activists



Court hears appeal of Tep Vanny, activists

Tep Vanny escorted by officials after her bail request was denied in Appeals Court yesterday in Phnom Penh.
Tep Vanny escorted by officials after her bail request was denied in Appeals Court yesterday in Phnom Penh. Heng Chivoan

Court hears appeal of Tep Vanny, activists

Tep Vanny and three fellow Boeung Kak activists yesterday maintained their innocence and requested all charges be dropped as they contested their six-month prison sentences handed down over a 2011 clash between their community and security personnel.

The four - Vanny, Bor Chorvy, Kong Chantha and Heng Mom - were sentenced on September 19 on charges of insulting and obstructing public officials. The case had lay fallow for some five years before being resurrected following Vanny’s August 15 arrest for conducting a “cursing ceremony” as part of the so-called Black Monday campaign.

Vanny yesterday told the court that she and the other activists - all of whom but Vanny are currently free on bail - had been arrested in 2011 almost immediately after arriving at the Municipal Hall to submit a petition about their land dispute.

“They detained me overnight, although I had not used any violence,” she said.

Neither of the two plaintiffs - Daun Penh security guards Hor Hoeurn and Sorm Rotha - were present or available for cross-examination yesterday. Hoeurn is also a plaintiff in another case against Vanny involving allegations of violence in 2013.

Prosecutor Sak Yuos Thavarak argued for upholding the judgment, while defence lawyer Sam Sokunthea, from human rights group Licadho, demanded to drop the charges based on insufficient evidence.

Adhoc observer Soeng Senkorona also said he hoped the first judgment would be overturned. “The evidence . . . is not enough,” he said.

A verdict is due on February 27.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY LEONIE KIJEWSKI

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and