The Appeal Court yesterday rejected an appeal by four Adhoc staffers against a decision in April to further extend their pre-trial detention by six months.
Rights group workers Lim Mony, Ny Sokha, Yi Soksan and Nay Vanda have been in jail since April 2016, and have been charged with bribery of a witness in connection to an alleged opposition sex scandal, a case widely considered to be politically motivated.
Cambodian law sets a limit of six months on pre-trial detention, but allows for up to two six-month extensions.
Appeal Court Judge Ngoun Ratana yesterday upheld the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s decision to continue the group’s incarceration, according to defence lawyer Lor Chunthy, who spoke after a three-hour closed-door session. The judge said he “feared the accused may destroy evidence and threaten witnesses”, said Chunthy, who criticised the lack of progress in the case.
Former Adhoc staffer-turned-election official Ny Chakrya was also detained in the case as an accomplice but opted not to appeal the extension as he felt such a move would be futile, said his lawyer Sam Sokong.