An investigating judge at Phnom Penh Municipal Court has officially charged Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), and three others with “insult” and “incitement to commit offences” and sent the case to trial.
The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) website quoted a court official as saying that Rainsy was charged with two offences – “insult of a public official or a holder of public elected office, and incitement to commit offences, pursuant to Articles 494 and 502 of the Criminal Code”.
It said in addition to Rainsy, three other people were involved in crimes committed from April to October 2018 – Kak Komphear, Kong Mas and Ho Vann.
A court notice dated August 6, which was posted on the gates of the CNRP headquarters on Monday, said Investigative Judge Koy Sao said Rainsy’s criminal case Number 354 was ready to be sent to trial.
The notice did not mention what charges were brought against Rainsy, but only that the criminal case reached the court on January 18.
The Post was unable to reach Sao or Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesperson Kuch Kimlong for comment.
Kong Mas, a former CNRP activist from Svay Rieng province, was arrested in January.
His defence lawyer, Sam Sokong, told The Post on Monday that his client was being tried under the same case as Rainsy, Number 354, but said he was only representing Mas.
Sokong said the court had informed him about sending Mas’ case to trial, but the date had not yet been specified.
“The case is linked to the ‘clean finger campaign’ [that urged voters to boycott last year’s national election] and many other things. But I cannot reveal them all now because it affects our defence,” he said.
According to the Criminal Code, those found guilty of “insult” face between one and six days imprisonment and a fine of 1,000 to 100,000 riel ($0.25 to $25), while “incitement to commit offences” carries a penalty of between six months and two years in prison and a fine of one million to four million riel.