The Court of Appeal on Friday rejected a request by four jailed officers of rights group Adhoc to throw out their case related to a sex scandal involving deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha.
Lawyers for the Adhoc officers, who have been jailed for four months on charges widely believed to be politically motivated, had filed a motion claiming that their detention during questioning by the government’s Anti-Corruption Unit exceeded the 72-hour limit for holding a suspect without charge.
Appeal Court spokesman Touch Pharith said the request was rejected on Friday, but declined to explain the decision except to say that the court’s Investigation Chamber ruled that the ACU’s actions had followed the “legal procedure.”
Lor Chunthy, a lawyer for the defendants, said no reason for the decision was given in court. He said the ACU began counting the hours from the moment it was announced that the rights officials were being detained, not from when they entered the building earlier in the day.
“The ACU questioned them from April 27 to April 30, when they were sent to court, so how many days did the ACU questioned them for? The ACU took four days. This is overtime,” Mr. Chunthy said.
ACU Chairman Om Yentieng said the court’s decision should be respected and that he believed his unit had followed the correct procedure.
“If we were wrong, the court would have decided that the ACU was wrong.”
The four rights workers were charged in May alongside National Election Committee deputy secretary-general Ny Chakrya for allegedly bribing a mistress of Mr. Sokha to lie about a suspected affair.