The Adhoc 5, a group of current and former rights workers who have spent more than a year in pre-trial detention on bribery charges widely seen as politically motivated, have been approved for release this evening, a court official said.
Y Rin, spokesman for the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said Investigating Judge Theam Chan Piseth issued a letter approving their release on bail today.
“We’re sending the letter to the general department of prisons today,” he said.
Chan Kimseng, who heads the prisons department at the Ministry of Interior, said he had yet to receive the letter but added that guards at Phnom Penh’s PJ and Prey Sar prisons, where the five are being held, have been put on alert for its arrival.
Of the five, the four current employees of rights group Adhoc—Ny Sokha, Nay Vanda, Yi Soksan and Lim Mony—are accused of bribing the alleged mistress of then-deputy CNRP president Kem Sokha to deny an affair. Ny Chakrya, a former Adhoc employee who had since taken up a post at the National Election Committee—is accused of being an accomplice. All five deny the charges, insisting they were only providing the young woman with legal assistance.
They were arrested in April 2016 and have twice had their pre-trial detentions extended.
phearun@cambodiadaily.com
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