Cheam Channy Files Complaint From Detention

From detention at National Mil­itary Police Headquarters, opposition lawmaker Cheam Channy is­sued a complaint against his captors, alleging that his confinement is illegal.

In his complaint, addressed to the Military Court’s Prosecution De­­­­partment and dated Feb 15, Cheam Channy said he is claiming $200,000 in damages for the loss of his “liberty, freedom and dignity.”

“I never was nor am I now a member of the Cambodian Na­tional Armed Forces and thus the Military Court and its members do not have power or jurisdiction over me,” Cheam Channy wrote in a co­py of the complaint re­ceived Thurs­­day.

Implicated in the complaint are Military Court Prosecutor Lieu­te­nant General Prum Sonthon, Lieu­tenant Colonel Sok Sant of the Mil­itary Police and all of the of­ficers in­volved in Cheam Chan­ny’s Feb 3 arrest, as well as Pok Pon, the mil­itary court’s in­ves­tigating judge.

Cheam Channy was stripped of his parliamentary immunity the day of his arrest, along with opposition leader Sam Rainsy and fellow lawmaker Chea Poch.

He is accused of forming an illegal armed force.

In his statement, Cheam Chan­ny maintained that he was merely heading a “shadow cabinet,” named “Committee 14” to oversee the work of the Ministry of De­fense.

“The Committee 14 is NOT an ARMED force because there were not and are not currently any arms/weapons,” he said.

Pok Pon on Thursday defended Cheam Channy’s detention, saying it was legal. “We have hard evidence to prove Cheam Channy or­ganized an army,” he said. “Even though they do not have weapons, organizing an army means they organized an armed force.”

Prosecutor Prum Sonthon echoed Pok Pon’s comments, ad­ding: “The offender and his law­yers always [say] they did nothing.”

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