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Next up for Vanny: trial

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Tep Vanny at Boeung Kok House in Phnom Penh Heng Chivoan

Next up for Vanny: trial

The investigation into prominent Boeung Kak lake activist Tep Vanny’s alleged instigation of violence during a 2013 protest outside Prime Minister Hun Sen’s residence was closed last month and will likely proceed to trial, her lawyer said yesterday.

Vanny has been in pre-trial detention on accusations that she led a group of Boeung Kak activists who clashed with police as they attempted to “storm” Hun Sen’s house near Independence Monument in order to deliver a petition, resulting in multiple alleged injuries to the land activists.

Sam Sokunthea, Vanny’s lawyer, said the investigating judge had concluded the investigation, and on December 19, had forwarded the case file to the president of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to initiate trial procedures.

“As her lawyer, I am not happy with this because she is innocent and has clarified to the investigating judge that she did not commit any violence,” she said.

Sokunthea added that once a trial judge was picked, the judge would have four months to set a trial date. “If they are in a hurry, then it will be in one-and-a-half to two months,” she added.

Fellow activist Song Srey Leap said she had no hope the charges would be dropped without the explicit blessing of the ruling party.

“I am so hopeless with our politicians who have spoiled Vanny’s life for their own political agenda and interests,” Srey Leap said yesterday.

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