A Change of Guard

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Friday, 27 May 2016

UPDATE: Kem Sokha "safe" following attempted arrest


Police surround a car belonging to Kem Sokha's chief of cabinet Muth Chanta this morning.
Police surround Kem Sokha's car on Norodom Boulevard this morning. Photo supplied

UPDATE: Kem Sokha "safe" following attempted arrest
Thu, 26 May 2016
Post Staff


UPDATE (3:10pm): Cambodia National Rescue Party acting president Kem Sokha is in a “safe place”, according to an opposition official, who said the party had reached out to the international community to condemn an attempt by police this morning to arrest the opposition leader.

Speaking this afternoon, CNRP parliamentarian Eang Chhay Eang would not divulge the whereabouts of Sokha, only saying he was in a “safe place”.

The opposition leader is being sought by police for missing a summons to appear at Phnom Penh Municipal Court this morning.

Just after midday, armed police arrived at the CNRP’s headquarters on National Road 2 in a bid to find the acting president.

Prior to this, at about 11:30am, another contingent of officers stopped Sokha’s car on Norodom Boulevard near Boeung Keng Kang market, however the lawmaker was not inside, according to Sokha’s chief of cabinet, Muth Chanta.

Chhay Eang said the party had contacted officials at the French Embassy to denounce the actions by authorities, citing Sokha’s parliamentary immunity, which is supposed to protect him from arrest.

“He has immunity, so they cannot arrest him unless they have a warrant for his arrest, and they have to strip his immunity first,” Chhay Eang said.



Moments before news of the attempted arrest broke, Sokha’s lawyer Sam Sokong said he had been delivering a letter to a prosecutor at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court explaining his client’s absence, adding that the prosecutor could not issue a warrant given his client’s immunity.

“I think the prosecutor will not issue any letter or warrant,” Sokong said.

“According to the law, the prosecutor has no power or right to issue the arrest warrant [for Sokha], because my client has the privilege of parliamentary immunity.”

Sokha faces accusations of procuring a prostitute, tied to a sex scandal. It is his second summons for the case, meaning police can now forcibly compel him to attend the hearing, according to Cambodian law.

He also faces a separate but related defamation suit. The legal action is widely considered politically motivated.

Chhay said the group who arrived at CNRP headquarters – where Sokha was scheduled to meet with party members at 3pm – left after being asked for a warrant.

“The group of police wanted to get into our headquarters, but we demanded they have a warrant for his arrest,” he said.


Earlier this morning, the CNRP released a statement confirming Sokha’s car had been stopped by police.

“The National Rescue Party informs the public, international and national media and diplomats that at 11:30am on Thursday, May 26, the car of HE Kem Sokha, acting president of the National Rescue Party, was stopped by armed forces, wielding guns, on Norodom Boulevard,” it reads.

According to local media outlet Fresh News, National Police chief Neth Savoeun said officers had not arrested the CNRP politician.

Sokha is the most senior opposition party leader in Cambodia.

CNRP president Sam Rainsy is in self-imposed exile in France after a warrant was issued for his arrest last year.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

ធ្វើម្តេចទៅ តើពួនបានយូរប៉ុន្មាន បើនៅក្នុងខ្មែរ គឺគិចមិនរួចទេ បើរត់ចេញក្រៅ ក៍មិនបាន តែបើបាន នោះសង្រ្គោះជាតិអស់ប្រធាន ហើយ ដូច្នេះ ពួក សួនសេរីរដ្ឋា កឹម វាស្នា ធីសុវានថា គេកាន់កាប់សង្រ្គោះជាតិហើយ គឺត្រង់ណាដែលបងប្អូនមិនចង់ឃើញ នោះហើយដែលពួកវាធ្វើ ដូចជាអ្នកកជាប់គុកទាំងនោះ យើងថាគ្មានទោសអី តែគេលើកមករាប់មិនអស់ ខ្លះជាក្បត់ជាតិផង ឃើញទេ? នេះហើយដែលគេថាមិនឲ្យបានសុខនោះ។

Anonymous said...

Every day, we've heard repeatedly Dictator & Traitor Hun Sen arrests this person, puts this person in jail, and so on.

We wonder when Hun Sen is going to arrest himself ?

The 2018 election will tell !

Anonymous said...

The CPP is not even care if International diplomats see this whole drama play out. Hun Sen is so afraid of loosing these coming elections that he order an arrest of a high profile CNRP acting president in broad day light. Forget 2017, 2018 elections Hun Sen will not give a free and fair election. Election if CNRP managed to win despite CPP cheating Hun Sen will not going to transfer power peacefully. This is shameless and madness.

This small & pathetic charge on Kem Sokha is very laughable and embarrassment in the world. Sham on you CPP.


Anonymous said...

Dear Sisters & Brothers,

By now we no longer care if Hun Sen gives a hoot to the international community or not.
Let's stop just reacting to Hun Sen, we the Khmer and the CNRP must take charge.

When Hun Sen refuses to step down, win or lose we MUST apply the synergetic pressure from the
Khmer people and the signatories of the 1991 Peace Accords.

It's going to be a long and costly struggle. But this national struggle is noble and worth it !!!

Anonymous said...



ពួកអាអត់ប្រយោជន៍ បំបង់បាយខ្មែរ មើលទៅដូចជាអង់អាចក្លាហានណាស់ជាមួយខ្មែរគ្នាអែង តែបើជាមួយយួន ដាក់កន្ទុយដូចឆ្កែ តាំងពីអាមេធំៗដល់អាកូនចៅតូចៗ ។