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Court sets trial date for jailed lawmaker Um Sam An

Opposition lawmaker Um Sam An is escorted through the grounds of the Supreme Court earlier this month in Phnom Penh.
Opposition lawmaker Um Sam An is escorted through the grounds of the Supreme Court earlier this month in Phnom Penh. Heng Chivoan

Court sets trial date for jailed lawmaker Um Sam An

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has set a date for the trial of jailed opposition parliamentarian Um Sam An, saying he will face the court over charges of incitement on September 2.

According to the hearing schedule posted at the court, Sam An’s case will be heard by presiding judge Heng Sokna. Sam An’s most recent request for bail was rejected by the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Sam Sokong, one of Sam An’s lawyers, said yesterday that his team was “well prepared” for the upcoming hearing. “We collected evidence, and we are prepared to argue based on national and international laws,” he said.

Sam An was arrested in April over Facebook posts accusing the government of ceding land to Vietnam. Despite his parliamentary immunity, a ruling party vote at the National Assembly ruled that the prosecution could proceed thanks to a constitutional loophole.

Self-exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy is also scheduled to appear in court today to answer questions over his allegations that the government was behind the murder of political analyst Kem Ley.

Sokong, who also represents Rainsy, said the politician, who has offered to testify via video link, will not appear.

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