Prime Minister Hun Sen will ask the military court to improve the jail conditions for opposition lawmaker Cheam Channy, but the decision over whether to release him on bail will be left up to the Appeals Court, National Assembly President Prince Norodom Ranariddh said Monday.
Prince Ranariddh said he met with Hun Sen on Saturday evening and had relayed to the prime minister a request by opposition lawmaker Son Chhay that Cheam Channy be freed on bail.
“When I raised the issue, [Hun Sen] said he has no right. It is up to the court’s decision,” the prince told reporters outside the Assembly.
But, Hun Sen did promise “to ask the court to look for a proper place for Cheam Channy and hold his hearing soon,” Prince Ranariddh said.
Cheam Channy, who was stripped of his parliamentary immunity along with opposition lawmakers Sam Rainsy and Chea Poch, was arrested Feb 3, accused of forming an illegal armed force.
According to Son Chhay, Cheam Channy has been kept in isolation in a room at the military court with a crumbling roof and no toilet. He likened the jail conditions to “mental torture.”
“It is improper to detain and keep him like that,” Prince Ranariddh told reporters Monday.
Military court judge Pork Porn said Sunday that the Appeals Court is scheduled to decide whether to release Cheam Channy on March 21.
He said he has refused to allow Cheam Channy access to newspapers or radio. “It would hinder my investigation,” Pork Porn said.