Rainsy’s conviction for calling Kem Ley’s murder “state-sponsored” upheld by Supreme Court

  • Cambodia’s main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party president Sam Rainsy arrives at a conference room to speak to the press in Tokyo on November 10, 2015. The leader of Cambodia’s main opposition on November 10 called for a peaceful transfer of power in elections in 2018, encouraged by a historic vote in nearby Myanmar. Cambodia has been ruled for three decades by Hun Sen, frequently accused by rights groups of stamping out dissent and ignoring human rights abuses. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO / AFP PHOTO / YOSHIKAZU TSUNO

The Cambodian Supreme Court this morning (March 14) upheld a lower court’s verdict sentencing former opposition leader Sam Rainsy to one year and eight months imprisonment for claiming that the murder of political analyst Kem Ley in 2016 was an act of state-sponsored terrorism, The Phnom Penh Post Online reported.

The Supreme Court’s hearing this morning lasted less than one hour with Kim Sathavy, president of the council, announcing that the Supreme Court agreed with the decision of the municipal court and the appeal court.

The Supreme Court also upheld the 10 million riel fine imposed on Sam Rainsy.

The hearing was held without the presence of Rainsy’s defence lawyer Sam Sokong.  Rainsy himself has been living in exile overseas since 2015.

Kem Ley was killed at a Phnom Penh coffee shop by a gunman, Oeut Ang, who was convicted last year, but critics suspected that more were involved in the murder.