After Aid Mix-Up, Canada Criticizes Sokha Verdict

During a meeting in Phnom Penh last month, Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn and his Canadian counterpart, Stephane Dion, had an apparent communication breakdown—initial reports from Cambodia that Canada had promised to restart aid programs turned out to be untrue.

But there was no confusing Mr. Dion’s feelings about the recent conviction of deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha, who was sentenced to five months in prison for refusing to appear in court over a “prostitution” case involving his alleged mistress.

“Very concerned by lack of due process and transparency in sentencing of #Cambodia opp leader Kem Sokha,” Mr. Dion wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

His concern was shared by the U.N.’s human rights office in Geneva, which issued a statement before Mr. Sokha’s conviction calling on the government to end its intimidation of the opposition.

Cambodia’s mission to the U.N. responded with a sternly worded letter. “Cambodia can neither accept such discredit of a legitimate government nor receive any order of judgment from any foreign entity in regard to our judiciary,” it said.

[email protected]

© 2016, The Cambodia Daily. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.