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Kim Sok to remain in detention

Political analyst Kim Sok raises his hands at Phnom Penh court in February, where he was arrested for defamation and inciting unrest.
Political analyst Kim Sok raises his hands at Phnom Penh court in February, where he was arrested for defamation and inciting unrest. Heng Chivoan

Kim Sok to remain in detention

The Appeal Court on Friday upheld an 18-month prison sentence and $200,000 compensation claim against political commentator Kim Sok on charges of incitement and defamation.

Sok was sentenced last month for echoing in a radio interview widely shared suspicions that the government was behind last year’s killing of revered political analyst Kem Ley. The commentator faces two lawsuits brought by Prime Minister Hun Sen – one after his initial remarks, and the other for statements made attempting to clarify the initial remarks.

Touch Tharith, spokesman of the Appeal Court, could not be reached yesterday, but told government-aligned Fresh News that the municipal court’s decision was “correct”.

Sok’s lawyer, Choung Choungy, said that the court also decided to reject Sok’s bid for bail the same day. “We filed a complaint to request for his bail, but the Appeal Court won’t allow him . . . They said they have to keep him for the court to continue the procedure, and to prevent him from committing further offences – to prevent [him from causing] any chaos to the public order,” Choungy said.

The attorney said they would file an appeal against both decisions later this week.

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