Supreme Court to decide on CNRP’s fate today

The Supreme Court of Cambodia is scheduled to announce a decision on the dissolution of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) today (Thursday), according to The Phnom Penh Post Online on Thursday.

Although protests have been banned and CNRP officials have been pressured not to travel to Phnom Penh, a security lockdown was imposed in central areas of the capital with multiple layers of barricades on every street leading to the court and heavy presence of police.

Journalists and civil society observers were prevented from passing through roadblocks since this morning, but were later let in under police escort.

The hearing started at 8.30 am while about 50 reporters and observers were waiting outside the court.

Phnom Penh municipal police chief Chhoun Sovann who was present outside the courtroom told a Post reporter the heightened security was due to terrorism events in foreign countries.

There are nine judges who will decide on the fate of the CNRP. Several of them have ties with the ruling CPP, particularly Supreme Court president Dith Munty who is a member of the CPP’s powerful permanent committee and a part of the trusted inner circle of Prime Minister Hun Sen. Dith Munty’s close ties with Hun Sen dates back more than 30 years.

The court’s chief prosecutor, Chea Leang, is a niece of Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, himself a member of the CPP’s permanent committee.

Dith Munty who turns 76 today will be directly involve in making the final call. Observers and critics agree that the CNRP’s fate is already doomed from the beginning.