Cambodia opposition’s commune chief jailed for bribery

Phnom Penh, Dec 5 (IANS) A Phnom Penh court on Monday sentenced Seang Chet, commune chief of opposition Sam Rainsy Party, to five years in prison for bribery.

Chet earlier this month admitted to having handed about $500 to the mother of Khom Chandaraty, the alleged mistress of Kem Sokha, deputy leader of the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Xinhua news agency reported.

Sam Rainsy Party, which holds nine seats in the Senate, is one of two parties which merged into CNRP but remains active separately.

The CNRP is the largest opposition party in Parliament against ruling Cambodian People’s Party.

Seang Chet was arrested and charged in April after being accused of bribing Chandaraty to convince her to deny her affair with Kem Sokha.

The alleged sex scandal between Chandaraty and Kem Sokha came to light in February with leaked audio clips of their telephone conversation.

In the clips, they discussed sex, pregnancy and payment for an apartment.

Kem Sokha, 63, was pardoned by King Norodom Sihamoni on Friday at the request of Prime Minister Hun Sen after the country’s Appeal Court convicted him of refusal to appear in the court over a prostitution case.

Currently, four local human rights officers and an election official are still in pre-trial detention on the same charges.