Release from prison on August 17, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court has issued a fresh warrant to political analyst Kim Sok to appear on September 14 to answer charges related to public defamation and inciting unrest.
Commenting on the latest development, Sok’s lawyer Choung Choungy, told The Post that he has not received the warrant as of Monday.
“For the public defamation and incitement charges, Sok has appointed me to be his lawyer since last year. I will be present at the court to defend my client’s rights if I receive the warrant,” he said.
The warrant dated August 28, and signed by investigating judge Leang Samnat, said the 38-year-old Sok is being investigated for public defamation and to incite crime in Phnom Penh on February 13, 2017, based on Article 305, 494 and 495 of the Criminal Code.
The warrant has instructed Sok to appear at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on September 14 at 8:30am.
Following his release, Sok and his six-year-old daughter are believed to have fled the country, claiming it was for their personal safety as Prime Minister-designate Hun Sen has threatened to arrest him again if continues to criticise the government.
Sok was freed from prison after spending 18 months in jail on defamation charges – for accusing the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) for the murder of fellow analyst Kem Ley, a strong critic of the government who was shot dead on July 10, 2016.
The court has also ordered Sok to pay $200,000 in damages to the CPP.
Responding to the warrant, Sok told The Post from his secret location that Hun Sen used the courts to oppress freedom of expression among the poor people.
Hun Sen is distancing himself from the Paris Peace Agreement which is the foundation for the establishment of the 1993 Constitution. It clearly outlines the people’s freedom and their political rights, he said.
“It is very clear that Hun Sen’s goal is to strengthen [his] family’s power and it [his goal] is not for the country or the people."
“Regarding my warrant to appear in the court again, it only shows that Hun Sen does not care about destroying other people’s [lives]. He is brave to use any trick to win and remain in power, and he is shameless,” Sok claimed.