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

  • Cambodia-Thailand rail reconnected after 45 years

    A railway reconnecting Cambodia and Thailand was officially inaugurated on Monday following a 45-year hiatus, with the two kingdoms’ prime ministers in attendance at the ceremony. On the occasion, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha travelled together from Thailand’s

  • Thousands attend CNRP-organised pro-democracy vigil in South Korea

    Thousands of supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on Saturday gathered in the South Korean city of Gwangju to hold a candlelight demonstration calling for the “liberation” of democracy in Cambodia. Yim Sinorn, a CNRP member in South Korea, said on

  • US Embassy: Chinese trade does not help like the West’s

    The US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Friday said relations between China and Cambodia did not create jobs or help industry when compared to the trade between the Kingdom and the US. “About 87 per cent of trade [with China] are Chinese imports, which do not

  • New airport study set for 2019

    A feasibility study on the construction of a new airport in the Kingdom will be launched later this year, according to a Ministry of Tourism spokesman on Monday. The plan was approved last week in a meeting held by the Ministry of Economy and Finance