Top Court Keeps Lawmaker Behind Bars

Opposition lawmaker Um Sam An’s latest request for bail was rejected on Wednesday by the Supreme Court, which agreed with lower court decisions citing the threat the politician would pose to the public if he were freed.

“Pretrial detention is necessary to stop the offense from happening again,” Judge Seng Neang told the court, referring to Facebook posts that prosecutors say were intended to cause social instability.

“Secondly, to preserve evidence. Thirdly, to guarantee the presence of the charged person during the proceedings against him and to preserve public order in case of any trouble caused by the offense.”

Mr. Sam An has repeatedly argued that his arrest was a violation of his constitutional immunity from prosecution as a parliamentarian.

Outside the Supreme Court on Wednesday, he continued his fiery—and often racially charged—criticism of the government, which he accuses of ceding land to Vietnam.

“The person who protected the border is imprisoned and the person who cut out land for the Yuon is free,” he said, using an often derogatory term for Vietnamese people.

Mr. Sam An is set to stand trial on September 5, according to his lawyer, Sok Sam Oeun.

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