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‘Come back, trust the courts,’ gov’t tells trio

Three Cambodia National Rescue Party members who fled Cambodia and are applying for asylum in the West after being linked to the case of imprisoned opposition Senator Hong Sok Hour should return home and have faith in the Kingdom’s justice system, a government spokesman said yesterday.

Sok Hour was arrested by heavily armed police on August 15 for posting a “fake” 1979 border treaty purporting to show Cambodia and Vietnam agreeing to dissolve their borders on CNRP president Sam Rainsy’s Facebook page.

Soon afterwards, fearing repercussions for helping to post the treaty and an accompanying video, two administrators for Rainsy’s Facebook page and Sok Hour’s personal assistant fled to Thailand, then on to another country in the region.

Speaking yesterday, government spokesman Phay Siphan said the group had shirked their responsibility as Cambodian citizens and should return, hire lawyers and trust they would be presumed innocent until proved guilty.

He, however, added he had seen no decision from the court about their status.

“They should believe in the protection of their own rights and come back and deal with the court,” Siphan said.

“If I were them, I would come back and fight for my own freedom and fight for my rights. It’s a part of life you have to respect the rule of law,” he added.

“Running away from responsibility . . . [from the] rule of law, this is not [being] a good citizen.”

On Monday, Hun Sen called on a group of fugitives in Thailand to return and “confess their conspiracy”.

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