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Crucial decision overdue in Chakrya case: lawyer

Ny Chakrya at the Phnom Penh court late last year.
Ny Chakrya at the Phnom Penh court late last year. Pha Lina

Crucial decision overdue in Chakrya case: lawyer

A lawyer for Ny Chakrya, the elections official jailed last year in relation to deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha’s “prostitution” case, said yesterday the investigating judge in the case has taken too long to decide whether or not to proceed with a criminal trial.

Chakrya, who was accused of bribing Sokha’s alleged mistress to deny an affair, has been in pre-trial detention for eight months, and his lawyer, Sam Sakong, said investigating judge Theam Chanpiseth on December 7 announced he had closed his investigation.

Sakong said that Chanpiseth was obligated under law to issue within 15 days from that date his decision on whether to proceed with a trial or drop the charges against the National Election Committee deputy secretary-general and former Adhoc staffer.

“According to the law, it is beyond the time limit already,” Sakong said. “It has been about 20 days already, and there is no resolution or letter to send the case to prosecutors yet. When it takes too long like this, it affects the rights of the accused.”

Chanpiseth declined to comment. Ly Sophana, a spokesman for prosecutors at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said Sakong might have confused the December 7 order.

“The closing of an investigation has many stages and now the judge is preparing to close the procedures of the investigation,” Sophana said, declining to comment further.

Sakong said he would send an official letter of complaint to the judge on Monday.

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