THE Battambang provincial court has summoned five local officials of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) to appear for questioning next Thursday over allegations they “violated the Supreme Court ruling” dissolving their party.
Chea Chiv, a former CNRP executive director in Battambang, told The Post on Tuesday that former commune chiefs Sin Rozeth, Mok Ra and Khuon Chamroeun had been summoned.
Dim Saroeun, a former CNRP member of the provincial council, and Kong Bunheang, an ex-provincial level official, had also been ordered to appear before the court.
The summonses, issued by Prosecutor Ky Bunnara last Wednesday and received by The Post on Tuesday, ordered the five to appear in court next Thursday for “questioning in the case of violating a Supreme Court ruling dated November 16, 2017”.
Bunnara declined to comment on Tuesday, requesting that reporters contact the court directly. Provincial court spokesperson Touch Sokpheakdey hung up his phone when called, while Battambang provincial police chief Uch Sokhon could not be reached.
Battambang town police chief Chhang Van Chhai told The Post on Tuesday that he could not make any further comment as he was only following court orders.
National Police spokesperson Chhay Kim Khoeun said on Tuesday that some of the five were involved in the “Clean Finger Campaign” that urged voters to boycott last year’s national election.
Some had also supported the now-defunct opposition Candlelight Party of CNRP co-founder Sam Rainsy.
He said the complaint may have not come from the police.
Reached on Tuesday, Rozeth said she would attend the court despite having no knowledge of the accusation.
“Since I left my position as O’Char commune chief over a year ago, what have I done to affect the country leading to this court summons? They can see my activities after the CNRP was dissolved – I opened a shop selling Cambodian noodles.
“They accused my shop of having connections with a rebel group and then no one came to it. I decided to sell things online . . . in order to support my family and pay back the bank,” she said.
‘I am shocked’
She said the court order was meant to discourage her and other former CNRP supporters. She did not know what she had done wrong as she had also never posted anything controversial on social media, only her opinions as a normal citizen.
“I am shocked after having seen the court summons which said I violated the Supreme Court’s order. I would like to ask what I did and how it violated the court ruling? I will go to court on the date set and answer questions."
“I have only myself and my mother in my family. My mother is shocked and worried. I am afraid of prison and chains, but I will still go to court in line with the summons,” she said.
Khuon Chamroeun, a former Chamkar Samrong commune chief, told The Post on Tuesday that he was also not aware of a reason behind his summons.
“I cannot recall what I have done wrong because I never left my house. I did not take part in any activities. They can check with the commune and district chiefs,” he said.
Chiv said he also was not aware of the reason behind the court action. However, he said it might be because of a video clip Rozeth and around seven others posted on Facebook in support of Sam Rainsy being made “acting president” of the CNRP in December.
He said if that were the case then more people would be summoned.