Court of Appeal Clears Way for Kem Sokha’s Trial

The Court of Appeal on Monday dismissed what was likely the final appeal from lawyers representing deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha before he goes on trial Friday over a charge of refusing to appear in court over a “prostitution” case against his alleged mistress.

Attorneys for Mr. Sokha, who faces one to six months in prison if convicted, had argued that the Phnom Penh Municipal Court broke legal procedure by fast-tracking the trial, failing to give them sufficient time to prepare.

Mr. Sokha’s lawyers had also asked for the Appeal Court hearing to be delayed, and were not present when Monday’s decision was made.

“The Appeal Court heard the appeal today and rejected the complaint brought by defense lawyers,” said the court’s spokesman, Touch Pharith.

Pheng Heng, one of five lawyers representing Mr. Sokha, said they would decide how to proceed with the case today.

Since police attempted to arrest Mr. Sokha in late May, he has been living in the CNRP’s Phnom Penh headquarters with supporters and security personnel standing guard outside.

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