Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) leader Sam Rainsy, his deputy Kem Sokha and union chief Rong Chhun appeared in court on January 14 on charges of inciting violence affecting social order and security.

Around 7,000 supporters of the protest leaders and independent union leaders gathered outside the court's building as the court questioned the trio one by one.

Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Rong Chhun said he had denied all the charges, while Rainsy said he is not concerned about the rumour of possible arrest.

Representatives from Cambodian and international non-governmental organisations were also present outside the court to keep a close watch on the situation.

The CNRP had held protests since Dec. 15 to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Hun Sen and a re-election after July's election handed victory to the PM’s ruling party.

The opposition party was also involved in widespread strikes launched in late December by the Cambodian Conference of Unions led by Rong Chhun and its six member trade unions. Thousands of garment workers took part in the strikes and demonstrations to demand the government to double the monthly minimum wage in the garment sector to 160 USD.-VNA