The Phnom Penh Municipal Court resumed on May 11 the 39th hearing of former opposition leader Kem Sokha in his “treason” case. The audience asked him about the 2013 general election process, although some questions remained unanswered.
Plang Sophal, a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office, told the Post after the hearing that Sokha, former chairman of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), dissolved by the Supreme Court, was questioned about the voters list, l voter registration and results of the 2013 elections.
Meng Sopheary, one of the defense lawyers, told reporters outside the court that the prosecution – as well as civil party lawyers – were asking the same questions the investigating judge had previously questioned Sokha on. .
She said Sokha did not answer some questions because he was not interested in reliving the past and wanted to find a solution in line with national reconciliation.
“There were questions asked by the prosecution which repeated what the investigating judge and then the civil lawyers had asked Sokha. The questions were the same as those asked by the investigating judge. It’s not like the interrogators didn’t know they were repeating them – they just wanted to try and get the answers they wanted,” she said.
Sopheary noted that the former CNRP and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) had already signed an agreement to end all questions relating to the 2013 elections on July 22, 2014.
“Sokha’s accusation of conspiring with foreign powers [to topple the government] affects international relations. This accusation is the opposite of what the government has tried to do to build and maintain for the benefit of the Cambodian people and society,” she said.
She also noted that some of the videos presented as evidence had been digitally stamped with an incorrect date and location. A video, she said, purported to show Sokha in Kampong Speu province on August 6, 2013, although Sokha confirmed he was not there that day.
Regarding the defense’s attempt to request that representatives from more than 30 countries and international organizations testify, Sopheary said it had not yet submitted a letter to the court requesting the summons, as it was awaiting detailed discussions first. .
The next hearing is scheduled for May 18.