Supreme Court Denies Bail to NEC’s Ny Chakrya

The Supreme Court on Friday denied an appeal for bail for Ny Chakrya, a former rights worker and senior election official who has been jailed for almost a year while awaiting trial.

Mr. Chakrya has been locked up for 337 days along with four officers of rights group Adhoc for allegedly bribing a mistress of CNRP President Kem Sokha to deny an affair in a case widely thought to be a politically motivated ploy by the government to muzzle dissent.

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Senior election official Ny Chakrya enters the Phnom Penh Court of Appeal on December last year (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

Presiding Judge Khim Pon upheld a no-bail decision by the Appeal Court, rejecting an argument from Mr. Chakrya’s attorney that he was not a flight risk.

“The Supreme Court decided to uphold the Appeal Court’s verdict because the claim of the defendant’s lawyer was unreasonable,” he said, without elaborating further.

The jailing of Mr. Chakrya, deputy secretary-general of the National Election Committee, and the Adhoc officers was the catalyst for the long-running “Black Monday” campaign that started in May, which has resulted in numerous activists being arrested for peacefully protesting for their release.

At a bail hearing last week, Mr. Chakrya’s lawyer Sam Sokong was chastised by Ouk Kimsith, chief prosecutor at the Supreme Court, for raising the fact that the campaign — branded illegal by the government — had come in reaction to the jailing of his client.

“Please don’t bring up the Black Monday campaign to put pressure on the court,” he said.

Prosecutors have said they are still investigating the case. 

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Mr. Chakrya had not been charged.

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