US Troubled by Kem Sokha Prosecutors’ ‘Fabricated Conspiracy Theories’

The U.S. ambassador to Cambodia on Thursday raised concerns that prosecutors are introducing “fabricated conspiracy theories” about the U.S. into the ongoing trial of opposition leader Kem Sokha.

While a Justice Ministry spokesman claimed the government has never accused the U.S. of involvement in Sokha’s case, in which he is charged with conspiring with a foreign power to overthrow the government, Prime Minister Hun Sen accused the U.S. of plotting a coup with Sokha in 2017.

After attending about 15 minutes of Thursday’s trial hearing, U.S. Ambassador Patrick Murphy told reporters outside the Phnom Penh Municipal Court that Sokha had a “very well-deserved reputation” as a “champion for rights and freedoms,” and the U.S. looked forward to “seeing his political rights restored.”

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