Assembly Mulls Action Against Lawmaker

The National Assembly Perm­anent Committee is scheduled to discuss calls made by Kompong Chhnang provincial authorities to strip opposition lawmaker Cheam Channy of his parliamentary immunity, an assembly official said Thursday.

“I have already prepared the document to be submitted to the permanent committee to discuss the stripping of immunity case,” Secretary-General Kol Pheng said.

The committee will meet Wednes­day to discuss Kompong Chhnang Prosecutor Mak Pany’s request to Assembly President Prince Norodom Ranariddh to strip Cheam Channy of his immunity, a measure that must be taken to interrogate the lawmaker about his alleged participation in a defamation suspect’s escape from court.

Cheam Channy is accused of tricking a deputy court director into leaving the courtroom where suspect Moeun Mel was being questioned on Dec 27 about his al­leged defamation of public works department officials. The distraction allowed Moeun Mel to escape from the courtroom.

“This is a political case… Funcinpec wants me to beg Prince Norodom Ranariddh to join the party when I am stripped of my immunity,” Cheam Channy said Thursday, adding that he has refused to defect.

Cheam Channy said he helped Moeun Mel because he believed Moeun Mel was wrongfully ac­cused.

If the permanent committee agrees to remove Cheam Chan­ny’s immunity, Kol Pheng said he will appeal to all parliamentarians to approve the measure.

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