A Change of Guard

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Thursday, 23 June 2016

Adhoc staff grilled in court again


Manekseka Sangkum


This latest attack on civil society groups and their personnel is becoming surreal, even by the ruling regime's own arbitrary and draconian standard! In any healthy society or democracy, civil organisations and non-governmental bodies are largely and primarily accountable for settling any act of impropriety or indiscipline on the part of their employees, especially, if the said act is understood to have been committed in the course of the employee carrying out his/her professional assignments. 

The bodies' own internal board and discipline committee would be the first point of reference and platform or tribunal for investigating and arbitrating any given act amounting to serious violation of their professional codes, 'house rules' and/or employment law. In this case, and so far, the institutions concerned have maintained their staff's innocence of any perceived improper conduct. However, if these individuals are adjudged to be guilty and sentenced to imprisonment, then the institutions behind them and all their employees, funders etc. should all be collectively implicated in the charge and sent to prison too?

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Ny Sokha (centre), head of monitoring for Adhoc, is escorted by authorities into Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday for questioning.
Ny Sokha (centre), head of monitoring for Adhoc, is escorted by authorities into Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday for questioning. Heng Chivoan

Adhoc staff grilled in court again
Wed, 22 June 2016 ppp
Lay Samean


Two Adhoc officials appeared before the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday for additional questioning, with both continuing to deny charges they had bribed a witness.

Nay Vanda and Ny Sokha, senior staffers at the human rights group, were questioned by judge Theam Chanpiseth, who grilled them about their interactions with Khom Chandaraty, the alleged mistress of opposition leader Kem Sokha.

Defence lawyer Lor Chunthy said Vanda was asked about when he first met Chandaraty and about their conversation.

“My client replied that he met her [Chandaraty] because she was afraid after she had received a summons from the Interior Ministry, so she came to Adhoc,” Chunthy said.

Chunthy continued to ask the judge to release his clients, saying Chandaraty’s claim that they had asked her to lie about an audio recording of a conversation purportedly between her and Sokha was without merit.

Last week, jailed Adhoc staffers Lim Mony and Yi Soksan also faced additional interrogation, with Mony requesting that Chandaraty be present during questioning, a request the judge has yet to rule on.

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