Lawyer Questioned in CNRP Lawmaker Attack Investigation

A lawyer for two opposition lawmakers brutally beaten in front of the National Assembly two months ago appeared at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday on behalf of his clients, who earlier this month filed an attempted murder complaint against their attackers.

Nhay Chamroeun and Kong Saphea, who spent weeks recovering in a Bangkok hospital, were summoned to appear at the court last week. However, the pair is currently in the U.S. on a “mission for our motherland,” according to their Facebook pages.

On October 26, Mr. Chamroeun and Mr. Saphea were pulled from their vehicles as they exited the National Assembly and assaulted by a number of men who repeatedly stomped on their chests and kicked their faces.

At court on Monday, lawyer Choung Choungy met with Investigating Judge Y Thavareak to discuss their complaint calling for stronger charges against three soldiers who have since been arrested for the assault and charged with intentional violence.

On top of the attempted murder charge, Mr. Choungy said on Monday he was also pushing for robbery charges, as the lawmakers lost their mobile phones, cash and wallets during the assault.

“Even though my clients are not here, we show their stance and demand [justice] from the court,” the lawyer said by telephone.

Mr. Choungy said he hoped the investigation would also reveal the mastermind behind the attacks. (Authorities have refused to say what units the soldiers came from.)

“I am a lawyer, so I cannot say who is the leader,” he said. “The investigating judge will take our information and investigate more.”

Judge Thavareak could not be reached for comment. Sok Khemarin, head of the Interior Ministry’s penal police department and a member of a government committee created in November to investigate the beatings, said the probe was ongoing.

“We are waiting for the municipal court order,” he said of the committee. “I can’t tell more about the investigation.”

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