Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Lawyer: It couldn’t have been Rainsy




Lawyer: It couldn’t have been Rainsy

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Sam Rainsy’s defence lawyer Sam Sokong speaks to reporters outside the Supreme Court following the appeal hearing in the incitement trial of the former opposition leader. Pha Lina

Lawyer: It couldn’t have been Rainsy

The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard an appeal by Sam Rainsy after the former court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) president was sentenced in December 2016 to five years imprisonment on charges of “being an accomplice in faking public documents and incitement”.

Rainsy’s defence argued that he could not have been an “accomplice” in the video presentation of a “fake” border treaty as he was speaking at an open forum outside the Kingdom at the material time.

Rainsy and his Facebook administrators Sambath Satya and Ueng Chong Leang were found guilty by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on charges of “faking public documents, using fake public documents and incitement to disturb social security”.

The charges stemmed from the video clip, posted on Rainsy’s Facebook page, in which then opposition Senator Hong Sok Hour presented a “fake” version of a 1979 treaty that purportedly dissolved the border between Cambodia and Vietnam.

The municipal court said Satya’s and Chong Leang’s five-year sentences would amount to three years each, with two years suspended.

Sok Hour was sentenced to seven years but was later pardoned by King Norodom Sihamoni after serving more than 800 days in prison. He also apologised to Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Rainsy’s defence lawyer Sam Sokong said at Wednesday’s hearing that the video clip was filmed by Satya and Chong Leang at the request of Sok Hour, and that his client had no knowledge of the video as he was abroad at the time.

“[Rainsy’s] Facebook page was like a TV channel for the sharing of information on which many people posted material,” Sokong said.

Judge Kong Srim will deliver the verdict on Monday.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped

  • Kingdom, China rebut basis for US sanctions

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co Ltd (Tianjin) have responded to US sanctions on Union Development Group Co Ltd (UDG), a Chinese-owned company currently developing the sprawling $3.8 billion Dara

  • Influenza breaks out in eight provinces

    Nearly 600 people have been infected with influenza in eight provinces in the past month, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said. The ministry is advising extreme caution. A report released by Vandine on Saturday said the Ministry of Health observed transmissions of influenza between August 15

  • CNRP activist freed; Sam Rainsy pledges return to Kingdom

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday released former CNRP activist Oeur Narith on bail after the court ended its questioning on suspicion of receiving money from abroad and plotting to overthrow the government, according to the authorities. National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun confirmed

  • Hun Sen says developing nations ‘targets of rivalry’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen spoke at the virtual UN General Assembly on Monday, saying that developing nations often become targets of punishment for their imperfections when they don’t rise to the standards of developed countries. He said rivalries between superpowers often hamper developing countries’