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Senator’s final bail attempt shot down

Opposition senator Hong Sok Hour is escorted into the Phnom Penh Municipal Court by armed police in August of last year.
Opposition senator Hong Sok Hour is escorted into the Phnom Penh Municipal Court by armed police in August of last year. Heng Chivoan

Senator’s final bail attempt shot down

Jailed opposition senator Hong Sok Hour’s bail request – made on health grounds – was denied yesterday by the Supreme Court, with the presiding judge citing the Appeal Court’s observation that his release could lead to “chaos.”

Deputy court president Khim Ponn said Sok Hour would remain in jail as he was currently amid a trial at Phnom Penh Municipal Court and law and order could be affected by his release.

“We uphold the verdict of Appeal Court to keep him in prison,” said Ponn. “Keeping him in detention will ensure no chaos and insecurity.”

Last September, the Appeal Court rejected Sok Hour’s bail plea after raising concerns over his being a potential flight risk and causing “social disorder” if released.

Sok Hour’s defence lawyer, Choung Choungy, yesterday said the decision was an “injustice” to his client and that he should be released given that he has not been convicted so far.

“I regret this decision is an injustice to my client, because he still has immunity as a senator and the Senate has not lifted his immunity,” Choungy said.

He added that requests to hasten proceedings and instal internet at the municipal court had gone unheard.

“I have requested the court to open the hearing against Hong Sok Hour by installing an internet connection and computer in the courtroom so that I can present evidence that is online,” he said.

Appearing before the Supreme Court on February 26, Sok Hour said he was willing to deposit 20 million riel ($5,000) and his French and Cambodian passports, in order to receive medical treatment for his blood pressure, a stomach ailment and a cold.

Sok Hour, who was not present in court, has been charged with forging a public document, using a forged public document and incitement to cause serious unrest, after he posted a “fake” section of the 1979 border treaty between Cambodia and Vietnam on Facebook last August.

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