Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Court upholds term for former KPP president




Court upholds term for former KPP president

Former Khmer Power Party head Sourn Serey Ratha sits handcuffed in a police vehicle following his arrest in August in Phnom Penh.
Former Khmer Power Party head Sourn Serey Ratha sits handcuffed in a police vehicle following his arrest in August in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied

Court upholds term for former KPP president

The Appeal Court yesterday upheld a five-year conviction for former Khmer Power Party President Sourn Serey Ratha for allegedly “inciting military personnel to disobedience” by criticising the August deployment of troops to the Laos border during a period of heightened tensions with the Kingdom’s northern neighbour.

The former political party leader was also convicted in late August of incitement to commit a felony and demoralising the army after he posted on Facebook that a conflict between the two countries would only harm soldiers on the front lines, while generals would safely enjoy their “money” and “girls”.

Unusually, the appeal hearing was off limits to journalists, despite such hearings being open to the public. Presiding Judge Pol Samoeun only told reporters that he had “upheld the conviction” as he left the courtroom.

Court spokesman Touch Tharith justified the decision, saying that Serey Ratha did not deny his crime, but “only took time to defend why [he posted] it”, without elaborating on the defence, or why it was rejected.

Asked why journalists were prevented from entering the courtroom, Tharith would only say that the Appeal and Supreme courts had the authority to do so, adding that court officials in the past had issues with journalists causing “anarchy”.

Serey Ratha’s wife, Nay Chakrya, attended the hearing and said the charges against her husband should be dropped.

“The sentence is unjust. I will appeal to the Supreme Court against this case,” she said.

His lawyer, Ra Chanpiseth could not be reached.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hungarian exposes 90 to Covid in Siem Reap

    The Ministry of Health has discovered 90 people who have been exposed directly or indirectly to a Hungarian man infected with Covid-19. They all are required to quarantine at home and the hospital. The ministry is searching for other affected people. Among the 90, one is the

  • PM warns of ‘new Cold War’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the possibility of a so-called new Cold War has become a significant concern and that all countries have to reject outright, any attempt to allow history to tragically repeat itself. He made the remarks in a speech during 75th Session

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • Cambodia, CRF win rice battle in EU Court

    The European General Court has rejected the European Commission’s (EC) request to reject a complaint submitted by Cambodia and the Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF) regarding the EU’s reintroduction of tariffs on Indica rice exports from Cambodia. A court order uploaded to the European