Lawyer Jailed for Aiding Escape Demands Retrial

A defense lawyer for opposition CNRP lawmaker Chan Cheng, who was sentenced to two years in jail Friday by the Kandal Provincial Court for aiding a prison escape, filed a motion with the court on Monday seeking a retrial, one of his lawyers said.

Sam Sokong said the court accepted the filing Monday.

“[W]e are demanding a retrial since he was tried in absentia,” Mr. Sokong said.

The Kandal Provincial Court sentenced Mr. Cheng to two years in prison for providing transportation in 2011 to Meas Peng, a CNRP district councilor for Kien Svay district, in what the court deemed a prison break.

Mr. Peng was sentenced on Friday to 18 months in jail over the escape.

Long Lun, Mr. Peng’s lawyer, said he filed an appeal against the conviction on Monday.

Choung Choungy, a lawyer who often represents opposition party officials and was also sentenced to two years in prison Friday for aiding Mr. Peng’s escape, said he has told his lawyer to submit a motion this week with the court calling for a retrial.

Lim Sokuntha, the court’s chief prosecutor, said the convicted men were within their rights to ask for a retrial.

“Those who have been tried in absentia can submit a complaint against the verdict calling for retrial,” he said.

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