SRP lawmaker Mu Sochua’s attorney Kong Sam Onn will not participate in today’s scheduled Cambodian Bar Association hearing over alleged ethics violations the attorney made while representing Ms Sochua in a lawsuit against Prime Minister Hun Sen, officials said.
CBA inspectors on June 17 concluded that Mr Sam Onn had breached three articles of the Bar’s code of ethics. Following today’s hearing the CBA’s governing Bar Council is to determine what, if any, sanction Mr Sam Onn might receive.
Mr Sam Onn couldn’t be reached for comment Monday, but Ms Sochua said her lawyer has gone to Singapore for personal medical reasons and will not return to Cambodia until next week.
“He has been sick, it isn’t important to go to the hearing because there will be the same result. He didn’t commit any crime,” Ms Sochua said.
CBA’s President Chiv Songhak said by telephone Monday that he has received a request from Mr Sam Onn to delay the hearing because he had to take his child to have cancer treatment in Singapore. Mr Sam Onn has also provided medical documents as evidence that he has traveled to Singapore for medical reasons, he added.
The Bar Council will meet tonight to decide whether to immediately move ahead with the hearing or delay it until Mr Sam Onn returns, Mr Songhak said. CBA internal regulations stress the importance of having the accused present, he said, but the Bar Council does have the right to hold an in absentia hearing if it is deemed necessary.
“Right now, I don’t know the answer as to whether we will go ahead with the hearing yet,” he said.
Prime Minister Hun Sen’s attorney, Ky Tech, who filed the original complaint against Mr Sam Onn, suggested Monday that the opposition lawyer had left the country to avoid having to attend the hearing.
“This is his idea not to participate,” Mr Tech said, adding: “If he has made no mistake, he should go to clarify. If he thinks there’s no advantage to participate in the hearing, it is his problem.”