Cambodian parliament allows authorities to continue taking action against opposition leader
Source: Xinhua 2016-05-30
PHNOM PENH, May 30 (Xinhua) -- The National Assembly of Cambodia on Monday voted to allow the competent authorities to continue legal action against deputy opposition leader and lawmaker Kem Sokha for ignoring court summonses twice in a prostitution case involving his alleged mistress.
All 68 ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) lawmakers, including Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, took part in the parliamentary session, as all opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmakers boycotted it.
"Sixty-eight lawmakers out of the total (123) lawmakers have agreed to allow the authorities to continue taking action in line with procedures over the case of Kem Sokha, a lawmaker for Kampong Cham province," National Assembly President Heng Samrin announced at the end of the 15-minute session.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court last Thursday requested police to arrest Sokha for committing a "red-handed" crime of ignoring court summonses twice.
The court charged him with "refusal to appear" under the article 538 of the Penal Code. Under the charge, Sokha could face a prison term of between one and six months.
It explained that because Sokha committed the "red-handed" crime, his parliamentary immunity could not protect him against the arrest.
Kem Sokha has been in hiding since last Thursday.
CNRP warned last Friday to call for mass protests if Sokha is arrested.