Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sokha case sees ‘new evidence’

Sokha case sees ‘new evidence’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Kem Sokha left the Phnom Penh Municipal Court after his hearing last month. Heng Chivoan

Sokha case sees ‘new evidence’

Lawyers for Supreme Court-dissolved former Cambodia National Rescue Party president Kem Sokha claimed in court on Wednesday that the prosecution in his treason case had introduced “new evidence” in the form of unlawful documents to question their client.

They expressed doubt over the documents during Wednesday’s hearing, when the trial chamber, lawyers for the government and the prosecutor had shown a document as evidence to question Sokha. But Sokha’s lawyers claimed they had never received that document.

Discussions proceeded at great length about evidence used to charge Sokha with treason, such as that from Facebook user “Kon Khmer” and a joint statement on the establishment of the Cambodia National Rescue Party.

The prosecutor took evidence such as the statement to question Sokha. But immediately Sokha’s lawyers objected and asked the prosecutor show identification (ID) for the document as they argued that it was not found.

After being informed of the ID, lawyers for the government, the prosecutor and the trial chamber said they all had the document.

Meng Sopheary, one of Sokha’s four defence lawyers said the document that the court accepted to question Sokha was an “irregular” one and was just included.

She made the claim after she requested the document from the prosecutor and noted that the document in the trial chamber’s possession had no ID but just letters.

“I ask the judge to consider whether the prosecutor has just included new evidence, or not” she said.

Koy Sao, the president of the trial chamber said at the hearing that the document contained in Disc 126 (video clip) in the case was received from the investigative judge. Perhaps the lawyers for Sokha had not yet read or copied the document, he said.

However, Sokha’s lawyers spent hours including their lunch break looking for the document, but did not find it. They told the court in the afternoon that they have never obtained the document. They requested that Disc 126 be presented in court to prove the integrity of evidence.

Sao said that he didn’t take the disc to the courtroom and left it at his office and that if required, he needed a 20-minute break from the hearing to take the disc and his personal computer to be presented.

But Sokha’s lawyers objected to this and insisted the disc be shown during the hearing. They said the trial chamber is supposed to have the disc in the courtroom.

Wednesday’s hearing is the fifth week in Sokha’s case where he is charged with conspiracy with a foreign power.

MOST VIEWED

  • State of emergency on table amid pandemic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, his deputy prime ministers and legal team will meet on Tuesday to review the draft law on declaring a state of emergency, as Covid-19 cases rose to 107 in the Kingdom on Monday. Speaking at a press conference after a parliament meeting

  • No word on state of emergency

    The National Assembly (NA) said it will postpone all unnecessary meetings in line with guidance from the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) amid the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it did not say when or how it will debate the “state of emergency”

  • Many in limbo as tension heightens

    As the Kingdom restricts travel and prepares for a state of emergency, some foreigners in Cambodia are scrambling for a way home. Foreign embassies in Phnom Penh are making efforts to get their citizens out, but cancelled flights have become common due to the coronavirus

  • State of emergency draft law set for NA

    A draft law aiming to place the Kingdom in a state of emergency amid the Covid-19 pandemic is set for a debate at the National Assembly (NA) after going through the Council of Ministers’ Standing Committee meeting led by Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday.

  • NA, Senate set for bill on ‘emergency’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested the Senate to convene an extraordinary meeting to review the draft law that aims to put the Kingdom in a state of emergency after the bill reached the National Assembly (NA) on Friday. The draft law, which was approved

  • Hun Sen, ministers, officials donate salaries in virus fight

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and other senior government officials have decided to donate their salaries to the National Committee for Combating Covid-19 in support of the ongoing battle against the coronavirus. Hun Sen announced in an April 1 letter that because the Covid-19 situation in Cambodia