Cambodian Court Sentences Rights Activists, Election Official to Suspended Five-Year Jail Terms

A court in Cambodia on Wednesday delivered suspended five-year sentences to four human rights activists and an official with the country’s National Election Committee (NEC) after convicting them of paying to silence a woman who allegedly had an affair with opposition chief Kem Sokha.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court Judge Duch Sok Sarin announced the decision against Adhoc staffers Nay Vanda, Ny Sokha, Yi Soksan, and Lim Mony, and NEC deputy secretary-general Ny Chakrya, saying their jail term commenced on the day of their arrest in April 2016 and ended when they were released from pretrial detention on bail in June last year, and that “the rest of their sentence is suspended.”

The five defendants were taken into custody in 2016 after being questioned by the country’s Anti-Corruption Unit amid accusations they had bribed Khom Chandaraty to deny that she had an affair with Kem Sokha, president of the now-dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).

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