Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Political analyst Kim Sok denied bail yet again

Political analyst Kim Sok denied bail yet again

Political analyst Kim Sok escorted by officials to his bail hearing yesterday at Phnom Penh municipal court.
Political analyst Kim Sok escorted by officials to his bail hearing yesterday at Phnom Penh municipal court. Pha Lina

Political analyst Kim Sok denied bail yet again

Political commentator, Kim Sok’s request for bail was yesterday denied for a second time by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, which ruled that he was a flight risk and could cause “social disorder” if released to await trial for allegedly defaming the ruling party.

Sok has been in pretrial detention since February and faces defamation and incitement charges brought by Prime Minister Hun Sen for allegedly suggesting that the Cambodian People’s Party was behind political analyst Kem Ley’s murder.

After a 90-minute hearing, presiding Judge Ky Rithy said there were three reasons for denying the bail application: the potential for Sok to escape and skip his July 27 trial, that he could commit another crime and that he could create social chaos.

Sok argued that the court was keeping him in pretrial detention beyond what was allowed in the Criminal Procedure Code. Article 204 of the code prevents the court from detaining individuals charged with crimes having less than a one-year sentence, and Article 209 limits the detention to half of the lower limit of the prescribed sentence.

“I cannot even write the name of Prime Minister Hun Sen or notes for my trial day preparation. The prison guards will then seize my book,” Sok said.

However, Hun Sen’s lawyer, Ky Tech, said Sok would commit more crimes if let go, appearing to suggest his speaking to journalists at a previous Appeal Court hearing amounted to a criminal act.

“Just walking past the journalists he committed another crime, so how about in 10 days – how many crimes could he commit?” he said, referring to the number days until the trial.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said