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Former Khmer Power Party leader Sourn Serey Ratha denied bail

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Former Khmer Power Party President Sourn Serey Ratha, seen in handcuffs, gets out of a police vehicle following his arrest last August in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied

Former Khmer Power Party leader Sourn Serey Ratha denied bail

Convicted former Khmer Power Party head Sourn Serey Ratha was denied bail today after his hearing at the Supreme Court.

The party leader was sentenced to five years imprisonment in August last year for allegedly inciting soldiers to disobey orders in a Facebook post in which he said that the conflict between Laos and Cambodia would only harm rank-and-file soldiers, while generals could safely enjoy their “money” and “girls”.

“The reasons I would like to ask for bail is that I did not commit anything that causes public insecurity, or makes the society chaotic,” he said in the hearing today. “My mother is seriously ill and my wife looks after my two kids alone. My father-in-law is critically ill, he has to change blood very often,” Serey Ratha said.

Judge Kong Srim denied the reuqest after a 30-minute deliberation. “Keeping the accused in jail is to keep security for the accused, preventing crimes from happening again and to keep public order,” the judge said.

But defence lawyer Chan Rapisith said the judge’s reasoning lacked a legal basis to deny bail.

Nai Chakriya, Serey Ratha’s wife, said after the hearing that she didn’t have any hope that the request would be granted.

“We already knew that result, but we had to complete all processes,” she said.

A previous version of this article misidentified the court Sourn Serey Ratha was denied bail at. It was the Supreme Court. This has been amended.

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