Lawyers for Adhoc 5 Make New Appeals To Start Trial

Lawyers for the Adhoc 5, current and former rights workers who have been detained for more than a year on corruption charges, have filed new requests asking that the cases be brought to trial as soon as possible.

Sam Sokong, a lawyer for Ny Chakrya, a National Election Committee official and former Adhoc employee, said he filed his latest request with the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Friday.

cam graphic adhoc shallow

Mr. Sokong said his previous two requests were rejected on the grounds that the court needed time to finish its investigation, despite little sign of progress.

“A long investigation has found no evidence,” so the court “should drop the charge or release him on bail…rather than keep the defendant in prison awaiting trial,” he said on Wednesday.

Dubbed the Adhoc 5 after the NGO for which the others worked, the group’s head of monitoring, Ny Sokha, his deputies Nay Vanda and Yi Soksan, and senior investigator Lim Mony were detained in April last year. They were charged the following May, accused of bribing the alleged mistress of then-deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha to deny an affair.

After they spent a year behind bars, the court in April extended their detentions for another six months.

Lor Chunthy, a lawyer for the other four defendants, said he submitted a second request on May 8 asking the court to close its investigation into his own clients and bring their cases to trial.

Court spokesman Y Rin said the latest requests had been passed on to the judge handling the cases.

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