Council Clears Court to Hear Case Against Mu Sochua

The secretary-general of the Supreme Council of the Magistracy, which oversees the country’s judiciary, said Tuesday the Phnom Penh Municipal Court has the power to “process until the end” the charges against opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua despite her parliamentary immunity.

Ms. Sochua was charged with insurrection over a violent protest at Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park on July 15 but refused to answer questions at the court on Monday, citing the immunity from prosecution she gained when the CNRP’s 55 lawmakers took their seats in the National Assembly in August.

Yet Sam Pracheameanith, the secretary-general of the Supreme Council, said Ms. Sochua was confused about her rights.

“The court has the right and power to invite her and others for questioning in accordance with procedure stated by law,” he said.

“The fact is, the incident occurred before they took office at the National Assembly; that means before they received immunity.”

“Therefore, whenever the court has begun the procedures, there’s nothing to stop it, because the court’s procedure shall be processed until the end,” he added.

Asked whether that meant the court could prosecute Ms. Sochua and the other six lawmakers who were arrested with her, Mr. Pracheameanith said that was the decision of the court.

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