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Lawyers appealing Kem Sokha detention ruling

Opposition leader Kem Sokha is escorted by police officials following his midnight arrest in Phnom Penh in September.
Opposition leader Kem Sokha is escorted by police officials following his midnight arrest in Phnom Penh in September. AFP

Lawyers appealing Kem Sokha detention ruling

Lawyers for jailed opposition leader Kem Sokha have filed a notice of appeal to the Supreme Court challenging a lower court’s ruling that his ongoing detention is legal.

One of the eight defence lawyers, Pheng Heng, said they submitted the appeal on Friday asking for Sokha’s release. “We will do a full motion with . . . the reasons why we’re appealing to the Supreme Court” when it responds to the notice, he said.

Lawyers on Friday also submitted a request for CNRP deputy presidents to be allowed to meet with Kem Sokha “to discuss the election” scheduled for next year, Heng said. A rejection of the request, he said, would not be “reasonable”.

“According to the Constitution, Mr Kem Sokha is not guilty,” he said, adding that some documents had to be signed by Sokha as president of the CNRP.

Also on Friday, Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge Ky Rithy rejected a request by CNRP lawmaker Soun Ryda to visit his party leader with other lawmakers today.

“As the case is in the process of the investigation and searching for more related evidence, and the judge still hasn’t summonsed the suspect for questioning yet, visits are only allowed for the suspect’s lawyer and his family,” he wrote.

However, Ryda said he and the others would “still go there to show [that] the parliament members don’t accept the arrest [of Sokha] because of his immunity”.

“We hope someday he [will be] free again,” he added.

Additional reporting by Yon Sineat

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