Three CNRP Officials To Be Tried For Old Case

The Kandal Provincial Court has summonsed a CNRP lawmaker, lawyer and district councilor over a 2011 incident relating to a land dispute and the alleged illegal release of a prisoner, officials said Sunday.

Chan Cheng, who was elected last year as a CNRP National Assembly member from Kandal province, Meas Peng, a Kien Svay district councilor, and lawyer Chuong Choungy have all been summonsed to appear for a hearing on Tuesday over the three-year-old incident.

In May 2011, Mr. Peng was charged with inciting a violent protest in a land dispute between villagers and a property owner. In September of that year, Mr. Choungy, with the assistance of Mr. Cheng, helped his client leave prison. The court then charged the pair in December that year with providing the means for a prisoner’s escape and aiding a suspect who fled from custody.

Deputy provincial prosecutor Sam Rithyvasna said the court had scheduled the hearing some two and a half years after the charges because it had only just completed its investigation.

“We have completed the investigation and the investigating judge has decided to send the case to hearing now,” he said.

But those summonsed said the hearing was simply a pretext to further intimidate the embattled opposition party, which has seven lawmakers-elect in prison over a violent protest on Tuesday.

“It is a political issue related to the ruling CPP arresting and detaining the opposition,” said CNRP lawmaker-elect Eng Chhay Eang about the case in Kandal province.

Mr. Peng defended his so-called “escape,” noting that the court had handed down no detention warrant and guards had permitted him to leave the prison with his lawyer.

“I did not escape but I walked out of the prison cell without being prevented,” he said.

Mr. Peng said he was unclear whether he had been summonsed as a witness or suspect, but planned to attend the hearing.

Mr. Cheng’s lawyer, Ket Khy, said he would attend on behalf of his client. Mr. Choungy said he would request a delay because he had previous obligations.

[email protected]

Related Stories

Latest News

The Weekly DispatchA new weekly newsletter from The Cambodia Daily delivering news, analysis and opinion to your inbox. Published every Friday at 11:30am. Sign up today.