Treason Trial of Cambodian Opposition Leader Kem Sokha Continues

Cambodian officials have recommenced on Wednesday the treason trial of Kem Sokha, leader of the dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), after a nearly two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Authorities arrested Sokha in September 2017 for allegedly colluding with foreign governments to overthrow the administration led by Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP).

“I hope…the court will decide to drop the charges against me so that we can reach national reconciliation and national unity to develop our country,” Sokha said

Sokha spent a year locked up in the maximum-security CC3 prison in eastern Cambodia, and was released into house arrest in 2018, then later into a looser form of custody known as “court supervision.” 

The trial of Sokha opened on January 15, 2020, but authorities stopped in March of that year due to the pandemic.

Sokha could be sentenced to up to 30 years in jail if convicted.

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