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Lawyers say Sokha not attending court today

CNRP deputy president Kem Sokha meets with Alan Doss of the Kofi Annan Foundation at the CNRP headquarters on Monday.
CNRP deputy president Kem Sokha meets with Alan Doss of the Kofi Annan Foundation at the CNRP headquarters on Monday. Hong Menea

Lawyers say Sokha not attending court today

Lawyers for CNRP acting president Kem Sokha have informed the Phnom Penh Municipal Court that he plans to ignore a second summons to testify today in relation to “prostitution” allegations involving an alleged mistress.

Sokha was due to appear this morning for a second time after ignoring a May 17 summons in relation to the same matter. He also declined to attend after being summonsed on May 11 in relation to a separate defamation case.

In a letter to the court, Sokha’s lawyers said his presence was not necessary as no suspects had been officially charged in the case.

“The prosecutor has not questioned any defendant or charged any suspect yet. So, Mr Kem Sokha understands that his immunity and his work as a lawmaker is more important than going to clarify in court,” defence lawyer Sam Sokong said.

While the Justice Ministry and the court have threatened further action if Sokha is a no-show, his lawyers claimed in the letter that “bringing in a lawmaker is equal to arrest, and that is a very serious abuse of constitution of Kingdom of Cambodia”.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesperson Ly Sophanna said deputy prosecutor Sieng Sok would examine the letter and the court would issue an official response today.

Justice Ministry spokesman Chin Malin said Sokha – despite his lawmaker’s immunity – could be arrested, depending on whether the court deemed his excuses reasonable or not.

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