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Ex-CNRP trio in court

Former CNRP activists Ouk Pich Samnang (left) and Meach Sovannara (right) are escorted into the Supreme Court in Phnom Penh in January 2017.
Former CNRP activists Ouk Pich Samnang (left) and Meach Sovannara (right) are escorted into the Supreme Court in Phnom Penh in January 2017. Pha Lina

Ex-CNRP trio in court

The Appeal Court on Friday questioned three of 11 former opposition CNRP activists that the municipal court convicted of “insurrection” over a 2014 protest that turned violent.

The 11 were accused of inciting a protest in July 2014 in which protesters lashed out at notorious Daun Penh district security guards. They were sentenced to between seven and 20 years in prison and ordered to pay compensation to the plaintiffs in July of 2015.

Under questioning, former opposition official Meach Sovanara denied all allegations. “On that day, I had not led the protest,” he said.

Co-accused Oeun Narith, former assistant to CNRP Deputy President Mu Sochua, similarly rejected allegations of insurrection, saying the officials “had not joined in causing the violence”.

“The allegation that [we] are the leaders of the protest is unfair,” he said.

Ouk Pich Samnang, another one of the 11 defendants, said the court was a “ghost court” that did not serve justice.

Eleven of the 39 plaintiffs – all security guards – were also present on Friday. The hearing was interrupted several times due to electricity cuts, and a date has not been set yet to hear the rest of the testimony.

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