Council Member Says Kem Sokha Must Appeal

Opposition activist Kem Sokha must himself file a grievance to the municipal court in order to challenge the constitutionality of a court summons, a Council member said Wednesday.

Constitutional Council member Bin Chhin, who is also a former CPP National Assembly member, made the remarks Wednesday when appearing on state-run TVK to explain why the Council has rejected two separate bids to intervene in a court summons issued to Kem Sokha.

“I am saying this on behalf of myself and not as a member of the Constitutional Council, that the accused can raise with the court the unconstitutionality of the law or the decision,” Bin Chhin said.

The municipal court, if it agrees with the grievance, must forward it to the Supreme Court within 10 days, Bin Chhin said. Then the Supreme Court, if it agrees, must forward the grievance to the Constitutional Coun­cil within 15 days.

The Council can then legally intervene if it deems the court case unconstitutional, he said.

Kem Sokha, who is in hiding, has twice failed to appear in mun­icipal court to answer questions about his role in opposition dem­onstrations. He is being in­ves­tigated for inciting racial hatred and damaging state property.

Opposition colleagues have complained that the court action deals with incidents that happened while the Son Sann Party member was still a member of parliament and thus had immunity from prosecution.

Constitutional immunity protects parliamentarians from being “prosecuted, detained or arrested because of opinions expressed during the exercise of his or her duties,” according to Article 80.

 

 

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