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

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Hun Sen: Lakes filled in for national developments

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced continued operations to fill some lakes in Phnom Penh to create land for developments, though he is against the unrelated practice of damming rivers or blocking waterways. Speaking at the inauguration of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport

  • Koh Preus upgrades 70% complete

    Initial construction of a nearly $30 million tourism infrastructure project on Preah Sihanouk province’s Koh Preus Island is “about 70 per cent complete”, according to an official with the developer. Heng Thou, construction site manager of Angela Real Estate Co Ltd (ARE), told The Post that

  • Local media loses a giant, and The Post a great friend

    Cheang Sokha, a gifted and streetwise reporter who rose to the highest ranks of Cambodian media and was beloved for his sharp intelligence, world-class humour and endless generosity, died on Friday in his hometown of Phnom Penh. He was 42. His wife, Sok Sophorn, said he

  • Cambodia, India agree to start direct flights, tourism exchanges

    Cambodia and India have agreed to start direct flight connections and promote closer tourism exchanges and cooperation in all areas after the Covid-19 saga comes to a close. The agreement was reached during a meeting between Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and newly-minted Indian