Phnom Penh (FN), Dec. 6 – Lawyers for leader of the court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party Kem Sokha had filed an appeal on 4 December 2019 against the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s decision two days earlier to send Sokha’s treason case to trial.
In response to Sokha’s appeal against the Phnom Penh Court, Ky Tech, head of government lawyer said the appeal has contradicted the kingdom’s legal procedures.
Speaking in an interview with Fresh News CEO Lim Chea Vutha on Friday, Lawyer Tech said:
“In accordance to article 267 of Cambodia’s code of criminal procedure, an accused person has no rights to file an appeal against the investigating judge’s warrant sending to trial. An accused person may appeal against a warrant on pre-trial detention or judicial control.” (please find the attached herewith article 267)
Lawyer Ky Tech continued that Sokha’s appeal could not hinder the court procedure on his treason case. In accordance to article 250 of Cambodia’s code of criminal procedure, if an investigating judge decides to issue a committal for trial, the investigating judge shall send the dossier immediately to the court president to set the schedule for the trial.
It is worth recalling that Phnom Penh Municipal Court, on 2 December 2019, issued a statement saying there is “sufficient evidence” to charge and send Kem Sokha to trial after the court closed investigation on 15 November 2019.
Kem Sokha, president of the court-dissolved CNRP, has been accused of conspiring with foreigners to topple the legitimate Royal Government of Cambodia.
Sokha was arrested in his house in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district at midnight of 3 September 2017 for act of treason as stipulated and punishable under the Cambodian Criminal Code, Chapter 2 (Infringements on Security of the State), Part 1 (Treason and Espionage), and Article 443 (Conspiracy with Foreign Power).
Following pre-trial detention, Sokha was released on bail and put under judicial control by not allow leaving border of street 313, street 311, and street 608; nor engaging in any political activities.
In the press release dated 10 November 2019, Phnom Penh Municipal Court said it decided to reduce bail conditions for Sokha; yet continue to put him under judicial control with the following obligations: (a) must not leave the border of the Kingdom of Cambodia; (b) must not engage in political activities; (c) must respond to the summons of authority.
The reduction of Sokha's bail conditions came after a request by his lawyers considering his health condition, good cooperation, and fully adhering to bail conditions.