Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - "Adhoc 5" see detention extended for six months

"Adhoc 5" see detention extended for six months

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
ADHOC officials Ny Sokha (R) and Yi Soksan (L) are escorted into the Supreme Court, where their appeal for bail was denied yesterday in Phnom Penh. Pha Lina

"Adhoc 5" see detention extended for six months

Defence lawyers’ suspicions were confirmed on Thursday, when a Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge extended the pre-trial detention of the so-called “Adhoc 5” by an additional six months, citing the need for more investigation into their case, which has already dragged on for a year.

Investigating Judge Theam Chanpiseth met with the accused and their lawyers at a closed hearing, informing them that because he needed to question more witnesses and investigate the case further, the five would have to remain in prison. In the last six months, however, only one witness has been questioned.

On Wednesday, a court clerk had said in separate interviews with media outlets that a judge had already decided to extend the group’s detention, only to backtrack hours later. Defence lawyers, however, took the apparent slip-up as evidence their clients’ continued detention was a foregone conclusion.

Adhoc staffers Lim Mony, Ny Sokha, Yi Soksan and Nay Vanda stand accused of bribing opposition leader Kem Sokha’s purported mistress for her silence regarding the alleged scandal, whereas former Adhoc staffer and election official Ny Chakrya is named as an accomplice to the crime.

The case is widely believed to be politically motivated, and has taken place against a backdrop of what observers have characterised as a crackdown on the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party.

Friday marks one year since the five were taken into custody, and after yesterday’s decision, the five could face up to six more months in prison before a judge has to decide to drop the charges or proceed to trial.

“The reason is the same. That is the investigation is still going on. And some witness have not been completed in investigation,” said Adhoc lawyer Lor Chunthy. “We think that the extension is not reasonable, because in the last six months, there has been little investigation.”

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42