Having spent 214 days in prison, four officers for human rights group Adhoc and a senior election official had their appeal against the extension of their detention struck down on Monday.
Lawyers for the five filed an appeal against the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s decision last month to keep them in prison beyond six months, which requires special permission from the courts, as they await trial in what is widely viewed as a politically motivated case.
Appeal Court prosecutor Chea Meth said only that judges decided to “uphold the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s decision.”
Kea Sophal, a lawyer for the Adhoc officers—Lim Mony, 60, Nay Vanda, 42, Ny Sokha, 51, and Yi Soksan, 53—said the judges reasoned that the suspects could not be freed while the investigation continued.
She said the decision was unjust, but that she would speak to her clients before appealing to the Supreme Court.
The five were arrested for allegedly conspiring to bribe the alleged mistress of deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha to deny an affair; however, they countered that they were only offering legal support at her request.