Lawyers for Officials Questioned Over CNRP Complaints

Lawyers for Phnom Penh’s governor and deputy governor were questioned at the municipal court Wednesday over complaints filed by their clients against opposition CNRP leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha as well as Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association, over last month’s violent garment protests, officials said, though details of the complaints remained unknown.

“The lawyers came to testify with the court already,” said Heang Sopheak, deputy prosecutor of Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Mr. Sopheak declined to detail the complaints. Cheng Penghap, a lawyer for Phnom Penh Governor Pa Socheatvong and Deputy Governor Khuong Sreng, said he was questioned Wednesday, but declined to elaborate on the complaints.

“We have evidence to implicate [Mr. Rainsy, Mr. Sokha and Mr. Chhun]. We will send that evidence over to the court next time. We filed against Sam Rainsy, Kem Sokha and Rong Chhun for many [reasons], but I don’t want to elaborate,” he said.

Ket Khy, a lawyer for Mr. Rainsy and Mr. Sokha, called the complaints “political” and requested the court drop them.

“President Sam Rainsy and Vice President Kem Sokha are not involved…. This is political. If it was a normal case between the people and the people, the court would drop the [complaints],” he said.

On January 3, a clash between garment protesters and police left five people dead and dozens wounded.

About two weeks later, Mr. Rainsy and Mr. Sokha were questioned at the court for their alleged involvement in the protest.

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