A Change of Guard

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Friday, 1 July 2016

BREAKING: Ministry calls for lawmakers' immunity to be stripped over 'prostitution'



Manekseka Sangkum: If you ever wonder as to what or how a totalitarian system of command behaves, this is how.


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Khom Chandaraty, the alleged mistress of CNRP deputy leader Kem Sokha, leaves Phnom Penh Municipal Court after questioning last month.
Khom Chandaraty, the alleged mistress of CNRP deputy leader Kem Sokha, leaves Phnom Penh Municipal Court after questioning last month. Pha Lina

BREAKING: Ministry calls for lawmakers' immunity to be stripped over 'prostitution'
Fri, 1 July 2016
Chhay Channyda and Mech Dara



The Ministry of Justice has formally requested that the National Assembly strip the immunity of two opposition lawmakers swept up in the ongoing Kem Sokha prosecution so they can face charges related to prostitution.

In a letter dated June 30, Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana refers to a request made to him the day before by Phnom Penh Municipal Court in asking Assembly President Heng Samrin to lift the immunity of Cambodia National Rescue Party parliamentarians Pin Ratana and Tok Vanchan.

The request cites article 80 of the constitution and article 8 of the statute governing lawmakers.

The move is a rarity in that a string of recent opposition lawmaker arrests warrants have sidestepped the need to lift immunity altogether by citing a loophole in the constitution under which prosecutions can proceed if the targets were caught “in flagrante delicto” or “in the act.”

Ratana and Vanchan, lawmakers for Kandal and Battambang, respectively, are “suspects in the penal case dated March 18, 2016, [related to] ‘prostitution’ under article 284 of the penal code,” the minister’s letter states.

“Based on the request of Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutors and in order for the court to be able to continue implementing the law following existing procedure and to strengthen Cambodia’s rule of law, the Ministry of Justice would like to request Samdech Ponhea Chakrey, president of the National Assembly, to please check and continue the procedure to lift the immunity of lawmakers Tok Vanchan and Pin Ratana.”


Vathana separately attached a statement from the municipal court, which for the first time revealed details of testimony given by Khom Chandaraty, aka Srey Mom, 26, the alleged mistress of acting CNRP president Sokha.

The testimony, which came over the course of two separate hearings, offers what Chandaraty contends are dates of alleged trysts with Sokha and evidence that Vanchan and Ratana had facilitated the romantic encounters.

“Based on her testimony, Khom Chandaraty, aka Srey Mom, left for Thailand two times, first on November 30, 2015, and second on February 1, 2016, and stayed at Centre Point hotel in the same room with Kem Sokha. During their stays, his excellency Kem Sokha had sex with Khom Chandaraty, aka Srey Mom,” the court statement, dated June 29, reads.

“Leaving for both trips to have sex with Kem Sokha was arranged by Tok Vanchan (first trip) and Pin Ratana (second trip), including arranging flight tickets, traveling together to meet Kem Sokha at the hotel and luring her by saying she would be getting benefits from Kem Sokha after having affairs and sex with him,” reads the municipal court statement.

“The first time they had sex in Thailand, Kem Sokha promised to provide $3,000, buy a house and open a salon business for Khom Chandaraty. However, the first time, Kem Sokha gave only $300 and the second time only $400.”

Chandaraty has filed a separate lawsuit seeking $300,000 from Sokha.

The court also referred to records from the Department of Immigration and data from Bangkok Airways as evidence they were receiving collaboration from Thai authorities. The leaked audio conversations purportedly between the two that started the scandal were also offered as proof of wrongdoing.

The court proved that there are “facts that the sexual relationship between Kem Sokha and Khom Chandaraty [was] in exchange for benefits and money arranged by … Tok Vanchan and Pin Ratana.”

The court mentioned that prostitution carries a potential sentence of two to five years in jail and a fine of 4 million 10 million riels, about $1,000 to $2,500.

In referring to the issue of immunity, the court specifically concedes that the case against the lawmakers is “not a red-handed crime” and so asks the assembly to consider it according to the constitution and relevant legislation governing lawmakers.

National Assembly spokesman Leng Peng Long told the Post that the Justice Ministry letter had been received on Friday and reported to the assembly’s permanent committee.

“The standing committee will hold a meeting on this issue to decide about it,” he said.

“The National Assembly will examine the request of the Ministry of Justice … to remove the lawmakers’ immunity. It requires two-thirds of the National Assembly to vote [in favour].”

What is not immediately apparent is how that would be possible given that the ruling Cambodian People’s Party no longer holds two-thirds of the seats in the assembly in the wake of the 2013 election.

Neither CNRP spokesmen Yem Ponhearith and Yim Sovann nor the accused lawmakers could be reached.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

រឿងនេះហាកដូចជានៅស្រុកស្មែរឥតមានស្រីខូចទេ តែបែរជាស្រីខូចត្រង់ណាក៍មានដែរ បើនៅស្វាយប៉ាកវិញ សុំខ្មាស់ តែធ្វើម្តេច អ្វីដែលយួនចង្អុលហើយ គឺកុនហើយ ទោះជាល្អលើសដុំពេច ក៍រកព្រៃពួនគ្មានដែរ ព្រោះគេរកតែមុខអ្នកណាដែលប្រឆាំងតវ៉ានឹងគេ ព្រោះស្រុកស្មែរសព្វថ្ងៃ គេថាជារបស់គេទៅហើយ សុំមើលទៅបក្សប្រជាជន តើអ្នកណាជាម្ចាស់? គឺយួនមានទេ? ចយដឹកអើយ ខ្មែរណាម្នាក់ក៍ដឹងដែរ តែគេចរួចទេ?

Anonymous said...


Something to think about:

Hun Sen has a new title: Ah Chror Vak Hun Sen

People said Ah Chror Vak Hun Sen has very low education.

How can he lead Cambodia?

How come he can stay in power so long?

Answer:

Ah Chror Vak Hun Sen has an EXCEPTIONAL COURAGE that other Khmer people don't have: Hun Sen is NOT AFRAID to hurt Khmer people or DESTROY Cambodia to please his master Yuon.

For example: Hun Sen carried and executed the K5 plan that killed hundreds thousands of Khmer people while Penn Sovann had refused to do it. Hun Sen killed the demonstrators on Veng Sreng Blvd after he returned from Vietnam. Hun Sen has silenced and imprisoned any Khmer who dared to raise the border issues with Vietnam

In addition, Hun Sen has signed a 2005 supplemental treaty with Vietnam, resulting the loss of Koh Tral. Millions of illegal Vietnamese have crossed into Cambodia, worrying Khmer people about the prospect of Cambodia becomes a second Kampuchea Krom. A big chunk of Khmer natural resource has been destroyed, etc...

My question:

How many Khmer people did Ah Chror Vak Hun Sen kill in order to convince Vietnam that he will be a faithful servant of Vietnam and made Vietnam put him in power to replace Penn Sovann?

What did Ah Chror Vak Hun Sen promise to give in to Vietnam in exchange for Vietnam to let him stay in power?

Bun Thoeun

Anonymous said...

Vong Vathana himself got involved with an illegal offshore investment scheme why hasn't anyone go after him. What a joke Hun Sen jungle law.