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Sok Hour loses appeal

Sam Rainsy Party Senator Hong Sok Hour’s lawyer, Choung Choungy, talks to the media at the Appeal Court in September.
Sam Rainsy Party Senator Hong Sok Hour’s lawyer, Choung Choungy, talks to the media at the Appeal Court in September. Hong Menea

Sok Hour loses appeal

The Appeal Court yesterday rejected a bid by Hong Sok Hour’s lawyer to secure the imprisoned opposition senator’s freedom and avoid being forced to hand over further evidence, including the lawmaker’s laptop.

Opposition lawyer Choung Choungy had appealed against an October 7 order by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to supply documents and electronic equipment as part of the ongoing trial of his client over a Facebook post, which has been adjourned pending the resolution of the request.

Choungy argued the defence would comply with the request, but only if his client was released on bail and able to gather and submit the material himself.

Prosecutor Yin Sokuntheary contested that Choungy’s appeal against the municipal court’s order was invalid, as Article 385 of the Criminal Procedure Code held that an appeal against an “interlocutory judgment” was only admissible if the case had finished.

Choungy disagreed with this interpretation, insisting that the court’s written order to supply more evidence explicitly mentioned that it could be contested at the Appeal Court.

Judge Plang Samnang shot down the appeal without offering a rationale.

Choungy said that the defence would consider taking their complaint to the Supreme Court.

Arrested on August 15, Sok Hour faces charges of forging a public document, using a forged public document and incitement to cause serious unrest, after he posted a “fake” section of a 1979 border treaty between Cambodia and Vietnam on August 13, which stated the countries would dissolve their national borders.

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