The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a bail application for four staff members of local rights group Adhoc and an election official, saying bail could not be granted until the investigation of the lower courts was finished.
The five Adhoc staffers – Lim Mony, Ny Sokha, Nay Vanda and Yi Soksan – along with National Election Committee official Ny Chakrya, have been held in pre-trial detention since May, when they were arrested on bribery charges, which are widely believed to be politically motivated as they related to a sex scandal case against opposition deputy leader Kem Sokha.
Presiding Judge Kim Sathavy said the decision was made to prevent the accused from interfering with the investigation. Vanda said after the ruling that “the biggest decision is upon the prime minister: whether to release us or not,” reinforcing the belief that they are being held for political gain.
Yem Chantha, Chakrya’s wife, said her children would likely need to be pulled from school if their father was sentenced.
“I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to tell them. The only thing I can do is burn incense and pray,” he said.
The men could face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.
Sam Sokong, lawyer for the defense, said that his team had “raised the national and international law” to no avail.
“The court did not pay attention to those things,” he said.