Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kem Sokha to appear in court

Kem Sokha to appear in court

Kem Sokha to appear in court

HUMAN Rights Party leader Kem Sokha is set to appear at Phnom Penh Municipal Court today for questioning in connection with a complaint filed in 2006 alleging breach of trust and the use of false documents during his tenure as president of the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights.

The opposition parliamentarian expressed puzzlement at the court’s sudden interest in a case that had lain dormant for years.

“I am not afraid because I have not done anything wrong,” Kem Sokha said yesterday. “It is strange that they filed a complaint [in 2006] and there has been no action taken since”.

The court originally summoned Kem Sokha for questioning on September 30, the same day it had received a fresh complaint from plaintiff Chhim Phalvorn, but the HRP president was travelling in the United States and unable to attend.

“The court has never been working so quickly like this,” Kem Sokha said. “If the court worked quickly like this, there would not be much work remaining.”

Chhim Phalvorn, the plaintiff and a former deputy president of CCHR, cited the need for a detailed investigation in explaining the length of the case.

“Politicians and people find it difficult to believe that Kem Sokha is corrupt, so we need a long time to find the evidence to meet the burden,” he said.

Chhim Phalvorn, now the director of the Institute of Civil Education, has accused Kem Sokha of embezzling thousands of dollars in donor funds and creating false documents to rebut the allegations.

Municipal Court deputy prosecutors Sok Roeun could not be reached for comment yesterday. Breach of trust carries a possible jail term of one to five years.

Kem Sokha was one of several activists arrested and charged with defamation during a government crackdown in 2005; however, he was released from prison and pardoned by King Norodom Sihamoni in 2006.

In September, the Municipal Court summoned Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Chea Poch in a six-year-old defamation case.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,