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Border Marker Appeals Hearing Delayed

The Court of Appeals on Tuesday postponed a hearing for opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who is fighting criminal charges for allegedly uprooting markers along the Vietnam border.

Defense lawyers had requested that key witnesses currently in detention be brought to Phnom Penh from Svay Rieng province, where the charges were originally filed.

The two witnesses, Meas Srey and Prum Chea, were each convicted of destroying border markers in Chantrea district, where villagers say they are losing land to Vietnamese encroachment. Both were sentenced to one year in jail in Svay Rieng provincial prison.

After a 30-minute hearing Tuesday, Appeals Court judge Khun Leang Meng ordered the two be brought from Svay Rieng prison to Prey Sar prison in Phnom Penh for the next hearing, which has not been scheduled.

Sam Rainsy remains in exile and is facing a two-year sentence if his conviction is upheld. He has also been charge with a separate offense of disinformation for publishing a map on his party’s website alleging border encroachment.