Kem Sokha Defends Actions as Democratic, Not Hostile: Lawyers

Kem Sokha argued in court on Thursday that his political and NGO activities adhered to democratic and human rights principles, and therefore would not be a crime under the charge of conspiring with a foreign power, according to his lawyers.

Sokha, leader of the dissolved main opposition CNRP, faces up to 30 years in prison for the charge, which is defined in the Criminal Code as having a secret agreement with a foreign state to foment hostilities or acts of aggression against Cambodia.

Speaking to reporters outside the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, defense lawyer Meng Sopheary said Sokha continued to be questioned about his activities from 1993, when he joined politics, to 2007, when he returned to politics after a five-year stint as founder of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR).

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