Cambodian parliament agrees with court action against opposition leader Sokha

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-11 12:33:47|Editor: Song Lifang
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PHNOM PENH, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- The National Assembly of Cambodia voted on Monday to allow a court investigation into opposition leader and lawmaker Kem Sokha who was accused of treason.

Kem Sokha, 64, president of the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), was arrested at his home in Phnom Penh on Sept. 3 for allegedly plotting the overthrow of the government with the U.S. support. He was charged with "treason" by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court last week.

Sixty-seven lawmakers from the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) took part in the 20-minute parliamentary session, as all CNRP lawmakers boycotted it.

At the end of the session, National Assembly President Heng Samrin announced that "all 67 lawmakers in attendance unanimously voted to allow the court to continue its procedures against Kem Sokha, a lawmaker for Kampong Cham province."

The arrest of Kem Sokha came after a video, broadcast by Australia-based Cambodian Broadcasting Network in late 2013, was posted on Facebook on Sept. 2. The video showed Kem Sokha delivered a speech during a gathering with his supporters in Australia and he told them about his secret plot against the Cambodian government with the U.S. support.

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said during a university graduation ceremony on Monday that the act of treason would not be tolerated and an investigation was underway to find out whether the whole CNRP got involved in the plot.

"If the whole party is found getting involved in the act of treason, that party will be dissolved in accordance with the law," he said.

Kem Sokha became the president of the CNRP in March 2017, replacing his long-serving predecessor, Sam Rainsy, who resigned in February. Sam Rainsy, 68, has been living in self-exile in France since November 2015 to avoid at least eight-year prison sentence for defamation and incitement cases.