Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - IDEA activist denied bail

IDEA activist denied bail

Prak Sovannary, wife of detained IDEA president Vorn Pov, talks over a loud speaker yesterday at Phnom Penh’s Appeals Court
Prak Sovannary, wife of detained IDEA president Vorn Pov, talks over a loud speaker yesterday at Phnom Penh’s Appeals Court. Vireak Mai

IDEA activist denied bail

Moments after Prak Sovannary heard the Court of Appeal denied her husband’s request for bail, she sobbed over a speaker affixed to the top of a tuk-tuk, condemning the decision to about 150 supporters.

“Release him! Release him!” said Sovannary, the wife of Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association (IDEA) president Vorn Pov, who was arrested at a garment worker demonstration in January.
“He was detained as a criminal, but he is a patriot and a peace lover,” she said.

Presiding judge Seng Sivutha said in court he denied bail because it could “affect judicial procedures”, said Kim Socheat, one of Pov’s attorneys.

Sivutha also upheld a Phnom Penh Municipal Court decision that ruled against IDEA members seeking the return of equipment confiscated during the January 2 demonstration at the Yakjin garment factory.

The Appeal Court last month denied a bail request for Pov and 20 other detainees arrested during the Yakjin protest and a demonstration the next day on Veng Sreng Boulevard, where authorities shot at least four people dead.

Charges for Pov and three others in the group have been reduced to two counts of inciting violence, which holds a maximum prison sentence of two years, said Sam Sokong, another of Pov’s attorneys. Previous charges against Pov held a maximum sentence of five years.

“I think these charges are minor if compared with prior charges,” said Sokong, who added that he was unhappy Pov could not attend yesterday’s proceedings.

The car at Kampong Cham’s Correctional Centre 3, where Pov and 20 other detainees are being held, was at the mechanic, preventing officials to bring Pov to Phnom Penh, CC3 director Kea Sovanna said.

IDEA members, land rights activists and representatives of several unions were among those gathered outside the court complex gates during yesterday’s hearing. The group held banners and shouted slogans in support of Pov’s release.

The Supreme Court has received but not set a hearing date for an appeal filed after the Appeal Court’s decision last month.

MOST VIEWED

  • Reports: Rainsy barred from Jakarta flight

    Sam Rainsy was on Wednesday refused entry to a flight from Malaysia to Indonesia, media reported late on Wednesday. The “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party’s announced return to the Kingdom on Independence Day on Saturday failed to occur. Rainsy

  • Government studying EU’s preliminary report on EBA

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Wednesday said the government was studying the EU Commission’s preliminary report on the human rights situation in the Kingdom that could lead to a suspension of access to its “Everything But Arms” (EBA) agreement. The

  • Phnom Penh International Airport wins award as passenger traffic soars

    The Phnom Penh International Airport has been awarded Best Asia Pacific Regional Airport 2019 for its sustained high growth in passenger traffic in recent years. The award was presented by the Capa Centre for Aviation (Capa) – a world-leading and trusted organisation that provides market intelligence to

  • Gov’t: Rainsy’s ‘coup plot’ a failure

    The government on Wednesday commended the Kingdom’s security forces for thwarting the attempted “coup plot” by former opposition leader Sam Rainsy through his announced return to Cambodia on November 9. The comments came as Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue

  • PM responds to Rainsy ticket claims

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday expressed frustration over claims by Sam Rainsy that he had altered Rainsy’s ticket with Thai Airways to prevent him boarding his November 7 flight to Thailand, from where he had claimed he would enter Cambodia. Hun Sen made the

  • Chinese tourists lead international visitors

    Chinese tourists again topped the list of foreign visitors to Cambodia during the first nine months of this year, with the Ministry of Tourism on Wednesday reporting a 30 per cent increase on the same period last year. The Kingdom received 4.81 million international tourists in that