The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday denied bail to three men charged with breaking the election law and joining an anti-government group for their alleged roles in delivering T-shirts in July 2013 bearing slogans urging people not to vote in that month’s national election.
The shirts were ordered by the Khmer People Power Movement (KPPM), a dissident Khmer-American group based in the U.S. that the Cambodian government has labeled a terrorist organization.
The trio’s lawyer, Sok Sam Oeun, argued that his clients had been in pretrial detention for the maximum period permitted by law.
But deputy prosecutor Meas Chanpiseth said the complexity of the case demanded that they remain behind bars.
“It is a complicated criminal case and a crime that has many suspects and many charges, so I ask the court to continue detaining them.”
Judge Top Chhunheng granted the request.
The three men deny any involvement in the KPPM and say they did not know what they were being asked by the group’s overseas president, Sourn Serey Ratha, to deliver.