Sokha denies involvement in opposition political movement

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Kem Sokha on his way to a hearing at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in January last year. Heng Chivoan

Kem Sokha, former president of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), has again denied involvement with any individual party or political movement that linked his name to their activities. He said those parties did so to serve their own interests.

On September 5, Sokha posted on his Facebook page a letter made public by his lawyers on February 7 stating that certain self-serving individuals, groups, parties and political movements had continued to use his name and image in connection with their activities.

“I would like to confirm to the public that the statement made by my co-lawyers was on my behalf,” he said, distancing himself from any government in exile formed by ex-CNRP leader Sam Rainsy.

Meng Sopheary, one of Sokha’s co-lawyers, told The Post on September 5 that her client’s latest statement confirmed that he had not supported the activities of any individual or group who had used his name for their benefits.

Sopheary said she did not yet know whether Sokha would take legal action by filing a complaint to authorities and find any individual or group that had repeatedly used his name for their political gains. Should he make a decision, lawyers will be called for consultation, she said.

Ou Chanrath, a former senior CNRP official who has now founded the Cambodia Reform Party, said if he were Kem Sokha, he would not be concerned about anybody using his name for personal gain because that would only benefit Sokha.

Chanrath said that his party had never used Sokha’s name for political gain and instead respected his right as a leader. He said forming a party had been his personal decision.

“I think he had warned them once or twice already and now he has come forward to deny it again. Those who had used his name should be ashamed,” he said.

Without confirming that Sokha had targeted his message at Sam Rainsy, Chanrath said Sokha and Sam Rainsy had not worked together for a few years.