Four lawyers representing imprisoned former opposition leader Kem Sokha were let go without explanation on Tuesday.

The former Cambodia National Rescue president has been represented by eight lawyers in total since his arrest in September on “treason” charges, which have been widely condemned as politically motivated.

Frequent CNRP defender Choung Choungy confirmed that he, Sam Sokong, Ket Khy and Hem Socheat submitted a document to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court tendering their resignation. “Four of us submitted a request to stop defending his case . . . this afternoon at the municipal court,” he said.

Choungy declined to comment on why they had resigned.

“Please understand, I won’t make comment to the media. I cannot talk further,” he said.

The other three lawyers could not be reached, and a copy of the resignation letter said the move was at Sokha’s request.

Remaining lawyer Peng Heng said he did not know the reason for the resignations, while his colleague Meng Sopheary said she was unaware of the move. “I don’t know about that information,” she said. “We planned to meet Kem Sokha by the end of this month . . . but we did not go.”