Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sovannara pushes for appeal case inclusion

Sovannara pushes for appeal case inclusion

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
CNRP activists Ouk Pich Samnang (left) and Meach Sovannara (right) are escorted into the Supreme Court in Phnom Penh yesterday. Pha Lina

Sovannara pushes for appeal case inclusion

Lawyers for opposition official Meach Sovannara and four other activists yesterday lobbied the Supreme Court to overturn an Appeal Court decision that effectively excluded them, allegedly without reason, from their own appeal of a 2015 “insurrection” conviction.

In July of 2015, 11 opposition activists, including Sovannara, were sentenced to between seven and 20 years on charges stemming from an opposition rally in which protesters violently turned on Daun Penh district security guards, who for months had been brutally dispersing peaceful rallies.

The 11 appealed the verdict on the grounds that their lawyers were absent for closing arguments – a breach of legal procedure – but the Appeal Court last year, without issuing any legal rationale, excluded Sovannara and four other defendants from the appeal, said their attorney, Choung Choungy.

Asked in court yesterday to explain why he and the others should be allowed to rejoin the appeal of his six co-defendants, Sovannara said simply that the lower court had violated established procedure and – despite the fact that his arrest coincided with a time of tense political negotiations – the mistake must still be rectified.

“I know my case is politically motivated, and needs to be solved by politicians but please decide based on rule of law; do not let judicial power come under political pressure,” he said.

No arguments for the legality of the Appeal Court ruling were made yesterday. A verdict is due on January 25.

MOST VIEWED

  • 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

  • ‘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

  • CPP: ‘Behave or Sokha suffers’

    The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman warned Kem Monovithya on Thursday that her attempt to damage “national reputation and prestige” would lead to her father, Kem Sokha, receiving even harsher punishment. Sok Eysan issued the warning as Monovithya, who is the court dissolved

  • Preah Sihanouk beach developments halted

    After receiving an order from Hun Sen, Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara led a team of experts and relevant officials to Sihanoukville to call a halt to the illegal development of a beach. The prime minister ordered the Prek Treng beach in Otres commune