Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - KPP chief calls for a review of CNRP ban



KPP chief calls for a review of CNRP ban

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Soung Sophorn speaks to the press in September. Heng Chivoan

KPP chief calls for a review of CNRP ban

Khmer Power Party President Soung Sophorn has called on the Supreme Council of Magistracy to review last year’s Supreme Court decision that dissolved the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).

Sophorn called the decision “not right”, and said it was based on no evidence and riddled with irregularities.

Among the duties of the Supreme Council of Magistracy is the promotion and disciplining of judges and prosecutors.

Sophorn, a lawyer, pointed to grounds where the Supreme Court’s decision did not meet proper legal procedures.

The decision was not based on existing law, he said, and there was not nearly enough evidence to support the verdict.

He also argued that the prosecutor failed to prove intent on the part of Kem Sokha and the CNRP, and failed to prove that the party’s actions had any effect on national security.

He said if the decision stood, it would only bring embarrassment to the Kingdom.

“As a lawmaker, I conclude that the dissolution of the CNRP was not right. The government should reconsider the case so as not to be embarrassed on the international stage.

“The Supreme Council of Magistracy should reconsider the decision and look into whether the judges were pressured and, if so, by whom.

“If they find that the decision was not based on proper legal procedures then everything would automatically need to be reviewed,” he said.

The CNRP was dissolved by the Supreme Court on November 16, based on a complaint filed by the Ministry of Interior that relied on a single narrative – that the CNRP was attempting to overthrow the government through a “colour revolution”, aided by the US.

The party’s president was accused of conspiring with foreigners seeking to overthrow the government.

The accusation was based on a 2013 video clip which showed Sokha saying to supporters in Australia that he had been aided in his political career by the US.

But the accusation was considered politically motivated to crack down on the opposition.

“I think the decision to dissolve the CNRP contradicts proper legal procedures.

“So . . . the Supreme Council of Magistracy should investigate the judges who moved to dissolve the CNRP,” he said.

Justice Ministry spokesman Chin Malin said on Monday that Sophorn’s comments were inappropriate and that the magistracy can only take on a case if a complaint is filed.

Legal experts declined to comment on the matter when contacted by The Post.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting