Senate Disregards Opposition Lawmaker’s Immunity

The CPP-led Senate voted Monday to allow the court system to continue prosecuting opposition Senator Hong Sok Hour on charges of fraud and incitement without stripping him of his immunity from prosecution.

Despite his parliamentary immunity, Mr. Sok Hour was arrested on Saturday and charged on Sunday with the offenses, which could lead to his imprisonment for 17 years.

Senate spokesman Mam Bun Neang said that the 47 senators present during the vote Monday unanimously decided it was unnecessary to revoke Mr. Sok Hour’s immunity because he was apparently caught in the act of committing a crime.

“When it is a case of a ‘flagrante delicto’ offense, the authorities have the rights to arrest, detain and prosecute,” Mr. Bun Neang said, citing Article 104 of the Constitution.

“Therefore, the 47 Senate members attending the meeting approved to all authorities to continue investigations and procedures, and not to halt the investigations.”

The opposition CNRP has labeled Mr. Sok Hour’s arrest and jailing illegal due to his immunity.

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