Two newly elected SRP commune officials in Banteay Meanchey and Battambang provinces have been accused of separate crimes by their respective provincial courts, according to SRP officials who claim the legal action is intended to undermine their party.
In Banteay Meanchey, Math Yuy, Souphy commune chief in O’Chrou district, has been accused of illegal deforestation by the provincial court, according to a copy of a court summons dated March 29.
Math Yuy, 52, who denied the allegation, said he was summoned to appear in court for questioning Tuesday, but was granted a postponement by the judge to give him time to find a lawyer.
Ly Srey Vina, national cabinet chief for the SRP, said the case against Math Yuy, who was elected Souphy commune chief April 1, is politically motivated. “It’s political retribution,” she claimed.
Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court Judge Nov Yaroth could not be reached for comment.
In Battambang, Horn Chhouy, the SRP’s newly elected second deputy chief for Banan district’s Ta Kream commune, was charged in absentia Thursday with inciting villagers to destroy property in July, said Sar Chandet, assistant to SRP lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang.
Battambang Provincial Court Judge Phan Vannaroth confirmed on Friday that Horn Chhouy was charged with inciting 100 villagers to destroy a fence surrounding a farm in Ta Kream commune. Horn Chhouy left the court before he was charged, Phan Vannaroth said.
“He left while I was questioning others,” Phan Vannaroth said, adding that the case against Horn Chhouy was not politically motivated.
Sam Rainsy, leader of the SRP, claimed the ruling CPP was behind both cases.
CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap, who is following both cases, said they should be decided on by the courts. Some parties blindly support their members regardless of whether they are guilty or innocent, he added.
“Political parties should not support their members without knowing the details of the case,” Cheam Yeap said.