Court Postpones Trial Over Brawl at Freedom Park

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has postponed Monday’s scheduled hearing of 11 people, including senior CNRP official Meach Sovannara, who were charged with insurrection and other crimes over a bloody scuffle at Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park in July.

The postponement was announced in a letter from deputy prosecutor Keo Socheat, dated Friday, which gives no explanation for the delay and provides no future date for the hearing. Mr. Socheat declined to comment on the delay when contacted Sunday.

The defendants were rounded up after a CNRP rally against the government’s ban on demonstrations at Freedom Park during which some participants delivered a bloody beating to several Daun Penh district security guards, who have broken up many peaceful protests with force.

The defendants, some of whom remain in detention, including Mr. Sovannara, deny the charges.

Mr. Sovannara’s lawyer, Choung Chou Ngy, rebuked the court for indefinitely postponing the trial and said he had been given no reason for the delay.

“The court did not say when it will hold the hearing again,” he said. “It is injustice for my client because he is innocent and he is being detained.”

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