August 9, 2022

Ambassador Says Cambodia’s Justice Does Not Hear a Case Based on Hearsays

Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Cambodia to the United Nations at Geneva H.E. An Sokkhoeurn has squarely dismissed the misleading news release dated June 28, 2022 of three Special Rapporteurs as to a recent trial in the Kingdom.

“Cambodia’s justice does not hear a case based on hearsays, but concrete evidences with due process,” according to his statement AKP received yesterday.

The statement gave a few highlights proving their assertions are far from flawless as follows:

1. To state that the hearings are “political” is unfounded and prejudicial. There is no shortage of instances that those associated with the ruling party have been held accountable before the law by the same courts. This reinforces the truth that an affiliation with a political party is not an entitlement for a person to break the law with impunity. To tag law enforcement as political repression is to denigrate the rule of law and equal application to all citizens as warranted by the Constitution.

2. It is with deep regret that the said rights experts did not assess the details received with rigour and de-politicised lens. The fact is that the recent trial was connected to a return plot in 2019 known as “event 9/11” that Mr. Sam Rainsy and his accomplices called for sedition and mobilised fund to raise illegal forces against a legitimate government and to arrest the incumbent Prime Minister. These unlawful activities carried out under the pretext of the vicious repatriation equate to a coup attempt, punishable in articles 453, 494 and 495 of the Penal Code of Cambodia, which was crafted with technical help of the Western experts.

3. The so-called rights experts’ narrative is one-sided and biased. They seem to lose sight that their former colleague, Professor Rhona Smith, had denounced Mr. Sam Rainsy in the Human Rights Council in 2019 for his aggressive language and incitement to overthrow a people-elected government. It is the identical charge he and his accomplices were found guilty by the court. This proves that Cambodia’s justice does not hear a case based on hearsays, but concrete evidences with due process.

4. The alleged denial of physical access to the trial and of complete access to case files is not substantiated. The truth is some accused had fled the accountability process. Notwithstanding, the defendants had full opportunity to be heard, including the right to counsel, to disprove the charges against them and to present their arguments in the court as part of the rights to due process guaranteed under the Constitution. The claim of extended pre-trial detention is truly indicative of either the limited understanding or the unwillingness to understand Cambodian judicial procedures by the said rights experts.

“Finally, the Permanent Mission of Cambodia urges the three Special Rapporteurs to heed the copious statements by member states calling them to exercise their functions in a strict observance of the ‘Code of Conduct for Special Procedures Mandate-holders of the Human Rights Council’. Their independence cannot be detached from responsibility,” the statement underlined.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press           

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