Mu Sochua remains silent in front of the judges

Friday, July 24, 2009

Pen Bona
Cambodge Soir Hebdo
Translated from French

The defamation trial opposing Hun Sen to SRP MP Mu Sochua took place in the morning of Friday 24 July in the Phnom Penh municipal court.

The Kampot MP showed up in court without defense lawyer and she chose to use her right to remain silent during the trial. She did not answer to the judge’s questions. Ky Tech, Hun Sen’s lawyer, who was present during the hearing, asked the tribunal to sentence Mu Sochua according to the law while asking 10 million riels ($2,500) in damage compensation. At the end of the hearing, Mu Sochua asked the tribunal to judge the case according to the spirit of the law and not based on the court’s concerns about men in power.

With Mu Sochua refusing to answer questions, the trial was essentially based on the report provided by each party during the court process. There was no argument in the case. After two hours of hearing, the judges announced that the verdict will be delivered on 04 August.

The trial was followed up closely by the news media: several reporters – local and foreign – shoved each other in front of the court on Friday morning at 07AM. Several of them had to remain outside of the courtroom. Mu Sochua, accompanied by Sam Rainsy, SRP MPs and about 30 or so party activists arrived to the court at 08AM. Before entering the courtroom, they lighted red candles to ask for justice.

The SRP indicated that it is ready to pay the damage compensation to close this affair should Mu Sochua is found guilty.


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