Union Boss Called In for Further Questioning

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has summoned union leader Ath Thorn for a second round of questioning over his alleged incitement of garment workers at a Phnom Penh factory in November.

A bystander was fatally shot during the incident after workers started throwing rocks and police responded by firing live rounds.

Mr. Thorn, president of the Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, denied the incitement allegation during questioning in early April.

On Wednesday, court clerk Srey Sansakney said Mr. Thorn had been summoned to appear again on Monday, before hanging up. Mr. Thorn’s lawyer, Kim Socheat, said the court had since agreed to his request to postpone the questioning by a week.

“We asked the court that he [Mr. Thorn] not attend court on June 9 because he will be in Preah Sihanouk Province doing his work,” Mr. Socheat said.

“The court agreed with our request that we attend on June 16.”

The court took the unusual step of requiring Mr. Thorn, who runs one of the country’s largest independent unions, to post a $25,000 bail to stay out of pretrial detention.

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