World News – AU – « They’re Playing Games »: Ex-Victorian MP pending trial adjourned for « inciting » in Cambodia

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Three more new cases of coronavirus have been discovered in Victoria, says incumbent Prime Minister Jacinta Allan

A former Victorian MP awaits a verdict on his incitement to trial in Cambodia after he says it was adjourned without a set date.

Hong Lim is one of 15 people named in a group trial for inciting or inciting incitement to be incited by the Cambodian government.

Mr. Lim, who served on the Victorian Legislative Assembly for 22 years and did not go to Cambodia for the trial, told ABC that the adjournment was a « typical move » by the Cambodian government.

« They just play games to pull it out and create fear in people’s minds and thoughts, » he said.

The Cambodian People’s Party of Hun Sen is expanding its influence in Australia by recruiting students to study here, often with grants from the Australian government.

Mr. Lim, who has long been an outspoken critic of the Cambodian government and Prime Minister Hun Sen, could face jail time if he returns to the country of his birth.

« He [Prime Minister Hun Sen] does what he wants and gets away with it, and that’s how he’s ruled for 40 years. « 

His vocal criticism of the government – especially after the murder of his friend and activist Kem Lay – led to his entry ban in 2016.

There are three reasons why Australians should be interested in Cambodia’s far-flung politics: history, refugees and a speech in Melbourne, writes Southeast Asian correspondent Liam Cochrane.

Mr. Lim said he was unaware of the charges until he found out through friends on human rights networks that his name was on a list drawn up by a Phnom Penh court less than a week ago.

But he had not been contacted by the Cambodian police or had received notice to appear at his own trial, which took place on Sept.. December began.

He said he has had regular contact with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) since then. .

On Monday, DFAT announced in a statement sent to the ABC that reports of an Australian man in Cambodia were known and ready to provide consular assistance.

The ABC also contacted DFAT for a comment on the adjournment of the trial of Mr. Lim, but did not receive a comment in time for publication.

Ten of the other people listed alongside Mr. Lim, who are mostly youth activists, are already in custody and are being charged with inciting a crime.

The other four people listed were members of the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) before it was disbanded in 2017 and they are all believed to be in exile.

One of them is the youth activist Seng Mengbunrong, who, like Mr. Lim, is still forbidden to return to his native country.

Mr. Mengbunrong, who is currently in exile in Malaysia, said he was not surprised to learn his name was on the list.

« I know the Hun Sen regime is afraid of the power of the people and uses the court to silence our voices, but they cannot, » he said.

Inspired by the Hong Kong democracy and freedom movement, Mengbunrong said he had « openly called for regime change through mass protests ». .

Although he was banned from entering Cambodia, he has remained politically active on social media and calls on the country’s youth to stand up for political justice.

Representatives from the Cambodian Embassy in Australia did not respond to ABC’s request for comment.

This service may contain material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service that is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced.

AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, 10 hours before GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

Cambodia, Hong Lim, Hun Sen, Australia, MP, Victoria

World News – AU – ‘They’re playing games’: Ex-Victorian MP pending trial for « inciting » postponed in Cambodia

Ref: https://www.abc.net.au

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