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

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Hun Sen gets Covid, shuns G20, APEC summits

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said he has tested positive for Covid-19 in Indonesia, where he is slated to attend the G20 summit in his capacity of the ASEAN chair. In a social media post addressing the Cambodian public, he said: “Before leaving Cambodia, I always

  • Moody’s sets outlook rating to ‘negative’ for Cambodia

    US global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc on November 15 announced that it downgraded Cambodia’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and maintained its B2 local and foreign currency issuer ratings. “The negative outlook reflects a deteriorating external position as illustrated by the severe

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • Hun Sen’s Covid infection caused by ‘weakened antibody’ after summit

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said exhaustion from heavy workload before and during the recent ASEAN Summit may have led to him contracting Covid-19 due to his weakened immune system, while rejecting speculations that the infection was caused by leaders of some countries who did not

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol