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24 Jun 2024


Cambodia: Phnom Penh Court conclude trial of former Mother Nature environmental rights defenders; verdict due on 2 July

"Mother Nature Trial Concludes; Verdict on 2 July", 24 June 2024

The Phnom Penh Capital Court concluded the criminal trial against 10 Mother Nature Cambodia activists …, over charges that stem from the movement’s peaceful environmental activism from 2012 to 2021.

The prosecution and defense completed their closing arguments on Monday afternoon, after which presiding judge Ouk Reth Kunthea set 2 July 2024 as the date for delivering a verdict. The court has held five hearings in the case, including today’s session, one of which was boycotted by five of the defendants for restricted access to the trial for their supporters and family.

All 10 activists are charged with Article 453 for plotting and face up to 10 years in prison, whereas three of the activists — Sun Ratha, Yim Leanghy and Alejandro Gonzalez-Davidson — face the additional charge of insulting the King under Article 437 bis of the Cambodian criminal code. The seven other defendants are Long Kunthea, Thun Ratha, Phoun Keoraksmey, Ly Chandaravuth, Pork Khoeuy, Binh Piseth and Rai Raksa.

Leanghy, Kunthea, Chandaravuth, Keoraksmey and Thun Ratha have attended the hearings, while Gonzalez-Davidson is banned from entering the country.