Phnom Penh: Kem Sokha, leader of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), who was arrested in September 2017 on treason charges, was allowed to leave prison on Monday after a judge approved his release on bail. The judge, who rejected Sokha’s fifth plea for bail in August, approved his request this time due to health issues, reports Efe news.
The court added that it has imposed measures to ensure that Sokha does not avoid the judicial process against him. Sokha, head of the now dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), was in pre-trial detention at a remote prison in eastern Cambodia. The opposition leader was arrested on September 3, 2017, following the release of a video in 2013 in which he appeared to be boasting to supporters of having the necessary advice from US pro-democracy organisations to win the elections.
The arrest came at the request of Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has been in power since 1985. He accused Sokha of conspiring with foreigners to overthrow the government, a charge that carries a penalty of between 15 and 30 years in prison. Without the participation of the CNRP, which obtained almost half of the votes in the 2013 elections, the ruling People’s Party won the July elections, sweeping all 125 seats in the National Assembly.