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Opposition Lawyer Court Ordered To Remain in Country

Kandal provincial court on Monday issued an order for opposition party lawyer Chhoung Chu Ngy to remain inside the country while he is facing charges for abetting the escape of a suspect in a land dispute case last year.

A court official said the order was made instead of an arrest, and that Chhoung Chu Ngy must notify the court if he moves homes as well.

Chhoung Chu Ngy is accused of helping Meas Peng, a deputy commune chief for the Sam Rainsy Party, leave detention at the Kandal court in September 2011, where he was to be questioned for his role in a protest over a land dispute there. A second opposition official, Chan Chen, is facing similar charges.

All three men have said the cases against them are politically motivated.

Kandal court’s investigating judge, Sin Vireak, told reporters Monday the order was made to keep Chhoung Chu Ngy under court control without detaining him and that the suspect must also notify the court if he moves homes.

Chhoung Chu Ngy called the court order unacceptable and said it would inhibit his freedom. It also puts pressure on him as an attorney, he said.

Sam Rainsy Party spokesman Yim Sovann said the charges constituted a “political threat.”

“For the last time, please drop this case and take this time to resolve other national issues,” he said.