Two former CNRP members take case to Supreme Court

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Supreme Court records show that the accused, Sun Thun, was a teacher in Kampong Thom province and a member of the provincial council, while Piet Mab was a teacher in Siem Reap province and also a member of the provincial council. Hong Menea

The Supreme Court on Monday heard the case of two former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) activists charged with conspiracy to incite social unrest in 2018.

Supreme Court records show that the accused, Sun Thun, was a teacher in Kampong Thom province and a member of the provincial council, while Piet Mab was a teacher in Siem Reap province and also a member of the provincial council. Both were arrested this year and sent to Prey Sar Prison in Phnom Penh.

On June 11, this year, Thun and Mab were held in temporary custody by the investigating judge of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

Both were charged with conspiracy to commit acts that caused serious disturbance to social security and incited military disobedience under Articles 453, 494-496 and 471 of the Criminal Code.

Their defence lawyers took the case to the Court of Appeal, where it was dismissed.

Defence lawyer Sam Sokong told the Supreme Court that his clients should be granted bail.

The judge said he was afraid the defendants would commit another crime. If both defendants are kept in prison they are easier to control, he said.

Sokong said both men have high blood pressure, diabetes, acidosis and are obese. They need treatment.

He said his clients are teachers and each has a permanent residence.

“I think that, according to the law, my clients haven’t been charged with any offence yet. They are still at the accused stage. But the court seems to presume that my clients have committed an offence,” Sokong said.

Separately, another defence lawyer Lor Chunthy said the investigating judge of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court stated his client was not released on bail because he was involved in a crime.

Chunthy said the former members of the CNRP have been held since 2018, and the head of the government has ordered the court to release all those involved with CNRP. But this year, the authorities arrested his client.

“My clients have family, livelihood difficulties, and illness. The court should consider letting them out on bail,” Chunthy told the judge.

Prosecutor Duch Kimsorn said a review of the facts showed that both the Phnom Penh Municipal Court and the Court of Appeal decided the temporary detention order was correct.

“Therefore, I would keep this warrant issued by the court and continue the detention of these two men,” Kimsorn said.

Presiding Judge Khim Ponn said the verdict will be announced on October 5.