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No need for Hun Sen to testify in Kim Sok case, Appeal Court says

Political analyst Kim Sok is escorted into a police vehicle after his bail appeal was denied earlier this month in Phnom Penh.
Political analyst Kim Sok is escorted into a police vehicle after his bail appeal was denied earlier this month in Phnom Penh. Heng Chivoan

No need for Hun Sen to testify in Kim Sok case, Appeal Court says

The Appeal Court on Friday denied a request by political analyst Kim Sok to summons Prime Minister Hun Sen, the plaintiff in the defamation and incitement case that recently saw the analyst placed in detention.

According to Sok’s defence lawyer, Choung Choungy, the Appeal Court declined to allow Sok to confront his accuser in court because, in their reasoning, the facts were simple, and “show that [he] committed the crime”, and there was thus no need to call the complainant.

The premier filed two complaints against Sok after the commentator had appeared to suggest that the government was behind the murder of analyst Kem Ley, who was gunned down last July in a case that is widely believed to be political. Sok was arrested on March 17.

Choungy said he would appeal the decision next week. Also on Friday, the Supreme Court rejected a bail request by former rights worker Ny Chakrya, who has been in pre-trial detention for nearly a year in another case widely considered political.

According to defence lawyer Sam Sokhong, Judge Khim Pon would only explain the ruling by saying that he wanted to ensure that the court could “take action according to the law”.

A National Election Committee member and former Adhoc staffer, Chakrya was arrested on “bribery” charges in relation to opposition leader Kem Sokha’s alleged sex scandal.

Sokhong said he also submitted a request for the court to start the trial. “Chakrya has been in jail almost a year already.”

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