Adhoc Staffer Summoned in Sokha Case

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has summoned an Adhoc employee as a witness in the case against four colleagues who have been arrested and charged with bribing a woman to deny an alleged affair with CNRP Vice President Kem Sokha.

The four Adhoc officials were arrested and charged in May along with National Election Committee Deputy Secretary-General Ny Chakrya in a case widely seen as politically motivated. Adhoc has said that it gave the woman a few hundred dollars to support her while the rights group was providing her with legal representation and denies that the money was a bribe.

On Sunday, municipal court spokesman Ly Sophanna said a summons was sent on Saturday to Eang Kimly, a coordinator for Adhoc in Prey Veng province, requesting her appearance at the court on July 26.

He said he was too busy on Sunday to provide details.

“Please wait until tomorrow for details about this story because today we are too busy with the murder case,” he said, referring to the shooting of political analyst Kem Ley.

On Saturday, local website Fresh News quoted Mr. Sophanna explaining that Ms. Kimly had been summoned as a witness in the case of her arrested colleagues and that more witnesses were likely to be summoned afterward.

Ms. Kimly said on Sunday that she had heard of the summons but had yet to receive it, probably because she was still in Prey Veng, adding that she had not yet decided whether to go to court once she does.

She declined to comment when asked whether she was involved in making payments to the alleged mistress.

Mr. Sokha has been hiding inside the CNRP’s Phnom Penh headquarters since May 26, when police made a failed attempt to arrest him for ignoring two summonses requesting him to appear as a witness in a related prostitution case.

The Justice Ministry, meanwhile, is seeking to have two CNRP lawmakers stripped of their legal immunity for allegedly helping to procure a prostitute for Mr. Sokha. The ruling CPP, however, lacks the number of votes to follow through without support from the CNRP.

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