Two Sam Rainsy Party officials were separately arrested by police in Poipet and Phnom Penh in what was described by the opposition as politically motivated, the Phnom Penh Post Online reported on Friday.
SRP deputy commune chief in Bantey Meanchey province’s Poipet border town Chaol Veasna was arrested on charge with incitement of violence in the 2015 protest at Poipet customs office and placed in pre-trial detention.
Veasna, however, claimed he merely joined the protest to facilitate dialogue after protesters began hurling rocks at the office and burning car tires.
In Phnomh Penh, SRP deputy commune chief in Tuol Kork district Ly Sokun was also sent to pre-trial detention for allegedly forging a public document – a charge stemming from an incident in which he gave an election observer the wrong ID card.
Sokun’s lawyer, Meng Sopheary, insisted that the incident was an honest mistake, noting that Sokun mistakenly put a photographer of one observer onto an ID card of another observer. She said Sokun could face a sentence of between 5-10 years.