Cambodian judge ends investigation of opposition leader


  • World
  • Friday, 15 Nov 2019

FILE PHOTO: Leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Kem Sokha greets media at his home in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, November 13, 2019. REUTERS/Samrang Pring

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - A Cambodian judge has closed the investigation into treason charges against opposition leader Kem Sokha and that means he could now be brought to trial or the charges dropped, his daughter said on Friday.

With the European Union threatening trade benefits, Cambodia is under growing pressure on human rights. Kem Sokha was freed from house arrest last weekend and authoritarian leader Hun Sen ordered the release of more than 70 opposition activists on Thursday.

A letter from investigating judge Ky Rithy to Kem Sokha's lawyer on Friday said "we decide to close the investigation from this time onward."

Kem Sokha's daughter Monovithya Kem said on Twitter: "Next step is either the prosecutor drops the charges or takes the case to trial. We demand that all charges be dropped."

A spokesman for the court said he was not aware of the decision to close the investigation so could not comment.

Kem Sokha was arrested in 2017 and his Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) was banned in the run-up to an election last year that was swept by the ruling party and which was condemned by Western countries as a farce.

Kem Sokha has dismissed the charges against him as nonsense.

On Tuesday, the European Union set the government a one-month deadline to respond to a preliminary report on the suspension of trade preferences over the crackdown on the opposition, non-governmental groups and the media.

Prime Minister Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge commander, has ruled the country of 16 million for more than 34 years.

(Writing by Matthew Tostevin; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In World

World's youth returns to the streets to fight climate change
Mexico urges Haitians at US-Mexico border to give up and head south
Spain says Catalan separatist leader detained in Italy must face Spanish courts
German millionaires rush assets to Switzerland ahead of election
Japan approaching end of COVID-19 emergency in most areas - health minister
Vietnam delays reopening resort island over low vaccination rate
Japan's ruling party race puts legacy of Abenomics in focus
Mexican state of Sonora approves same-sex marriage
CIA Vienna station chief removed amid 'Havana syndrome' criticism -Washington Post
Australia hits vaccine milestone as Melbourne cases hover near record levels

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers