Int’l Officials Visit Jailed Opposition Lawmaker

European Commission officials led by the British Embassy in Phnom Penh visited jailed opposition lawmaker Cheam Channy in mil­itary prison on Wednesday and dis­­cussed his health with Investi­gating Judge Pok Porn, embassy and court officials said.

Gary Benham, British Embassy vice consul, and embassy officials from France, Germany and the Eu­ro­pean Commission in Phnom Penh met with Pok Porn for around an hour. Benham told re­porters at the court that their discussion had focused on Cheam Chan­ny’s detention and well-being but refused to provide further de­tails.

“European member states have made a pass-through visit this morning to Cheam Channy,” Ben­ham said. “And we simply discussed his well-being.”

The officials were in Phnom Penh following a Cambodia-EC meeting on Tuesday.

Opposition lawmaker Son Ch­hay said the officials also met with Sam Rainsy Party officials at the EC’s offices in Phnom Penh to discuss the opposition’s future.

Military court Investigating Judge Pok Porn said that the delegates met with him to discuss Che­am Channy’s health and legal procedures at the military court.

“They asked me about how procedures at my court are different from civil court,” he said. “I told them that this court follows the le­gal system.”

Pok Porn said he escorted the of­ficials to see Cheam Channy. Few questions were asked, he said, and the opposition lawmaker appeared healthy.

Key Khy, Cheam Channy’s de­fense attorney, was not at the meeting but said that he appreciates the gesture.

Cheam Channy was imprisoned in February after he was accused of forming a so-called illegal armed force and stripped of his parliamentary immunity.

Pok Porn said that the Supreme Court may next month hear a mo­tion filed by Cheam Channy’s law­yer that the opposition lawmaker be re­leased on bail.



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