The Phnom Penh Municipal Court last week rejected a bail request from Ny Chakrya, a senior member of the country’s election body who has been charged with being an accomplice to bribery.
On June 6, Investigating Judge Theam Chanpiseth ordered that as Chakrya was charged with a crime that could lead to more than a year in prison and he would not be granted bail.
Chanpiseth said that as the investigation into Chakrya’s alleged offense was ongoing, he should not be released in case he attempted to prejudice proceedings.
Som Sokong, Chakrya’s lawyer, rejected the decision by the court.
“We can’t accept this because we have seen so far that the suspect ... was arrested and jailed in different places ... if we look at the court procedure, there is no further charge against any suspect or accused person during the investigation,” he said.
He added that Chakrya’s legal team had already filed an appeal over the decision.
Chakrya is one of five suspects who were detained over allegations that they had bribed a witness in a case against opposition leader Kem Sokha.
Chanpiseth could not be reached for comment.
Sokong said a change in the political landscape was needed in order for the courts to hear the case fairly. “I have hope for either legal or political means. If these things don’t go well, I think it will be impossible,” he said.