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Court rejects shoe thrower’s appeal against jail sentence

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The Appeal Court on Friday upheld the two-year prison sentence handed down to the woman who threw a shoe at a billboard showing images of Hun Sen and Heng Samrin. Kim Sarom

Court rejects shoe thrower’s appeal against jail sentence

The Appeal Court on Friday upheld the two-year prison sentence handed down to the woman who threw a shoe at a Cambodian People’s Party billboard showing the images of Prime Minister Hun Sen and National Assembly president Heng Samrin.

The offence took place in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nop district in 2017.

Sam Sokha, then 38, was charged in June that year with “insulting and inciting to discriminate” under articles 494, 496 and 502 of the Criminal Code.

She was originally sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay a five million riel ($1,250) fine.

Presiding Judge Samrith Sophal read the Appeal Court’s verdict in Sokha’s presence. After questioning the appellant and hearing the conclusion of the defence, the trial chamber found that the Kampong Speu provincial court’s ruling in March last year was duly legal, he said.

“The Appeal Court rules to uphold the lower court’s ruling,” Judge Sophal said.

In 2017, a video of Sokha hurling a shoe at the billboard in Prey Nop district’s Ream commune went viral on social media. After fleeing to Thailand, she was repatriated on February 8 last year. She was then sent for trial at the Kampong Speu provincial court.

“I would like to ask the court to reduce my punishment. I understand my mistake after being detained in prison. I have already apologised to Prime Minister Hun Sen,” Sokha said at her appeal on May 7.

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