Two more ques­tioned in ‘trea­son’ case against former CNRP leader

The Phnom Penh Post - - NATIONAL - Niem Chheng

THE in­ves­ti­gat­ing judge at the Phnom Penh Mu­nic­i­pal Court on Wed­nes­day ques­tioned two more wit­nesses in a trea­son case against former Cam­bo­dia Na­tional Res­cue Party leader Kem Sokha.

Khoeun Vi­rath, who af­ter last year’s com­mune elec­tion be­came the first deputy chief for Sangkhat Boe­ung Tom­pun 2, in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey dis­trict, was ques­tioned for more than one hour by In­ves­tiga­tive Judge Ky Rithy.

An­other wit­ness, Heng Pisith, from on­line me­dia out­let So­cial Break­ing News, was ques­tioned later the same day.

Turn­ing to the tuk-tuk

Af­ter the CNRP was dis­solved and his deputy com­mune chief po­si­tion was given to the CPP com­mune chief can­di­date, Vi­rath be­came a tuk-tuk driver. He said af­ter ques­tion­ing that he had ful­filled his obli­ga­tions.

“Be­cause the court process is un­der­way, I can­not say much be­cause it af­fects the pro­ce­dures. But I have al­ready ful­filled my obli­ga­tion as a wit­ness af­ter they sum­monsed me in con­nec­tion to Kem Sokha’s case,” Vi­rath said.

He did not di­vulge any rea- sons for be­ing called as a wit­ness. Asked how well he knew Sokha, Vi­rath said, “I don’t even know what car Sokha had. I only know my tuk-tuk is yel­low,” he said, de­clin­ing to com­ment fur­ther.

Piseth also de­clined to com­ment say­ing that if he did, it would vi­o­late court pro­ce­dures.

Eight sum­monsed

Rithy has so far sum­monsed eight peo­ple. As of to­day, five had been ques­tioned: Vi­rath; Piseth; Chak Sopheap, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Cam­bo­dian Cen­ter for Hu­man Rights (CCHR); Kry Song, a former em­ployee of CCHR; and Meas Kim­seng, a former of­fi­cial at hous­ing rights group Sah­makum Teang Tnau­tas.

Two wit­nesses failed to appear, in­clud­ing Pa Nguon Teang, the di­rec­tor of the Cam­bo­dian Cen­ter for In­de­pen­dent Me­dia, and Sia Phearum, the former ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Hous­ing Rights Task Force.

The eighth wit­ness, Keo Rotana, a former host on CNRP’s now-halted ra­dio sta­tion, is set to appear in court on Fri­day.

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