Cambodian Journalists Alliance Association

Candlelight Party Vice President Thach Setha Arrested

Candlelight Party Vice President Thach Setha speaks at the party’s office in Phnom Penh on April 4, 2022. CamboJA/ Pring Samrang
Candlelight Party Vice President Thach Setha speaks at the party’s office in Phnom Penh on April 4, 2022. CamboJA/ Pring Samrang

Candlelight Party Vice President Thach Setha was arrested Monday after the Phnom Penh municipal court issued a warrant for his arrest, according to police and court spokespersons.

Phnom Penh Police spokesperson San Sok Seyha said an investigating judge issued a court warrant for Setha’s arrest on January 16 for allegedly issuing a bad check.

Setha was arrested in Phnom Penh’s SenSok district and immediately sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court for legal action, Seyha said. 

Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesperson Y Rin said that Thach Setha was still being questioned by an investigation judge as of 7 p.m. Monday. He said he could not yet share more specific details about the charges against Setha.

The court’s warrant, posted on government-aligned media Fresh News, cites Article 231 of the Law on Negotiable Instruments and Payment Transactions. Violations of the law carry a maximum penalty of a 10 million riel ($2,437) fine and a five year prison sentence. 

Setha allegedly failed to appear before the investigating judge on February 28 and June 22, 2021 following a court order, according to the court warrant. 

Candlelight co-Vice President Son Chhay said he just received the news of Thach Setha’s arrest. 

“I asked the lawyer to find him at the court, but the court was closed and now we don’t know where he is, we are searching for him,” he said.

Candlelight President Teav Vannol could not be reached for comment.

Additional reporting by Khy Sovuthy and Sorn Sarath.

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