PM Urged To Support Association’s Elected Head

Bogged down in a dispute over the leadership of the Cambodian Bar Association, supporters of elected president Suon Visal have written to Prime Minister Hun Sen urging him to intervene.

In a letter dated July 4, 12 of the association’s 19 council members provided extensive details of the case, adding that Ky Tech, who lost the Oct 16 election to lead the association, should not be allowed to maintain his right to the presi­den­cy.

“We would like Samdech Hun Sen to give recommendations and intervene so that the dispute can come to an end,” Som Chandina, who signed the letter, said Mon­day.  He added that the dispute has dragged on for months.

On Wednesday the group wrote to Minister of Justice Ang Vong Vathana, asking him to dismiss the charge of stationery for­gery made on June 30 against Suon Visal by Ouk Savouth, chief prosecutor at Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

Ouk Savouth was not qualified to make such a decision to re­solve the association’s internal dis­­pute, the council members said in their letter.

Ouk Savouth did not answer re­peated calls Monday.

Ang Vong Vathana said Monday that he has not received the letter.

Ky Tech declined comment, saying he did not believe he would get balanced coverage.

On Oct 17, one day after Suon Vi­sal defeated Ky Tech, Ky Tech challenged the election result. In a closed-door hearing on Nov 19 the Appeals Court dismissed the election results and handed the presidency back to Ky Tech without ex­planation.

Suon Visal appealed the decision, and the Supreme Court on June 2 nullified the Appeals Court’s decision.

On June 17, Ky Tech filed a complaint against Suon Visal, ac­cusing him of illegally putting his name on the association’s letterhead.

On July 1, Suon Visal said he was preparing to leave the country and feared for his safety after receiving the forgery charges.

Suon Visal could not be reached for comment Monday, but Som Chandina said he re­mains in Phnom Penh.

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