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Jailed commentator Kim Sok’s appeal rejected

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Political analyst Kim Sok, seen in July through a fenced police vehicle outside Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

Jailed commentator Kim Sok’s appeal rejected

The Appeal Court on Friday upheld the conviction and 18-month sentence of political commentator Kim Sok, who last year had publicly suggested Prime Minister Hun Sen was behind the assassination of fellow political analyst Kem Ley.

Following a dramatic trial, in which Kim Sok attempted to leave the courtroom, the analyst was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine to the state and $200,000 to the premier in compensatory damages.

On Friday, Kim Sok did not deny making the claim on a Radio Free Asia show in February, but insisted the Appeal Court show footage of the revered commentator Ley’s murder. “Why does the court not show the video clip?” he said in court. “After showing, if it shows that I speak wrong, you can sentence me to however many years.”

However, Presiding Judge Plong Samnang said Sok should have provided more evidence to support his request and announced he was upholding the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s decision.

Sok’s lawyer, Choung Choungy, said he would file an appeal with the Supreme Court this week.

Kim Sarom

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