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‘Illegal army’ seven face 15 years jail time

Seven people were charged on Saturday over the alleged formation of a movement called the Sovannaphumi Army, which an official claimed plans to “overthrow” the Cambodian Government.

Deputy Prosecutor at Phnom Penh Municipal Court Hoeng Bunchea said that the seven suspects were identified as Chea Sarann, aged 49, Phlort Rey, 60, Liv Soksovann, 49, Chum Vichey, 42, Deng Thou, 43, Port Phor, 46, and Yom Hev, 41.

“They were officially charged with forming an illegal armed forces movement in Cambodia. They will be sent to be detained at the prison in Phnom Penh for further investigations ahead of their trials in the future,” he said.

Kheng Tito, spokesman for the National Military Police, said that the suspects were arrested on Thursday in two different locations in Phnom Penh, in the Tuol Kork and Dangkor districts, based on warrants issued by Sok Roeun, deputy prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

“These people planned to form an illegal armed force, the ‘Sovannaphumi Army’, which was an anti-Cambodian Government movement. They wanted to overthrow the government,” he said.

“Forming an illegal armed forces movement or armed movement is absolutely prohibited and is a crime in Cambodia. If they are found guilty they will face at least 15 years in jail,” Kheng Tito said.

He added that the National Military Police are continuing to investigate the suspects that have been charged and the people behind them.  

Phnom Penh Municipal Court Deputy Prosecutor Sok Roeun declined to comment yesterday .

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