Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP official to skip court



CNRP official to skip court

Protesters attack a member of the Daun Penh security force with makeshift weapons near Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park
Protesters attack a member of the Daun Penh security force with makeshift weapons near Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park in July after a demonstration turned violent. Vireak Mai

CNRP official to skip court

Former parliamentary candidate and opposition information chief Meach Sovannara said yesterday that he would not appear in court today for questioning related to charges stemming from a violent opposition protest in July.

Speaking to the Post from abroad, Sovannara said he was on a mission to South Korea, Singapore and Thailand, and would therefore be unable to attend. What’s more, he added, the court summons was invalid because it listed his name, age and title incorrectly.

“I will not flee. I respect the law, and I will go to clarify [the matter] when the court [summonses me] properly according to the procedure of the law,” Sovannara said. “In other countries, when someone is summonsed with a misspelled name and the wrong age, he will not appear for clarification.”

Sovannara said his lawyer, Chan Chen, would submit to questioning by investigating judge Keo Mony on his behalf.

Mony issued a summons on August 12 ordering Sovannara to answer questions regarding a Cambodia National Rescue Party protest on July 15 during which demonstrators turned on the notoriously violent Daun Penh district security guards, injuring several. A handful of opposition leaders were arrested and charged in the aftermath of the demonstration, a move that the opposition and civil society decried as politically motivated.

Though most of the others arrested are now covered by parliamentary immunity, Sovannara, who ran unsuccessfully for a seat in Banteay Meanchey, is not.

Chen, Sovannara’s lawyer, said he and his client had planned to appear together but that if Sovannara was unable, he would appear alone on his behalf. He also maintained that his client would not flee the charges, because he was innocent.

“I understand that my client did not do anything wrong; he is an honest citizen,” Chen said. “He [was present at] the incident, but based on the video, he did not do anything illegal. So I [am not] worried that there will be any arrest, and I hope the judge will offer justice for him.”

Investigating judge Mony declined to comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • ‘Beware of WhatsApp fraudsters’

    The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications warned members of the public who use WhatsApp to vigilantly guard against a new trick employed by hackers that involves the use of six-digit codes sent to potential victims via the popular messaging app. The ministry said hackers could