An Australian-Cambodian and two American-Cambodians were tried yesterday at Phnom Penh Municipal Court for issuing death threats, illegal weapon possession and impersonating a two-star general.
Australian citizen Tim Kimsuth, also known as Nhim Visuth, was charged with impersonating an RCAF general. His personal driver, American citizen Chan Phith, was charged with making death threats, and his bodyguard, American Em Seng, was charged with possessing an illegal weapon.
“They all were people who used to live over 20 years each in Australia and the United States. They should know about the laws and respect them, and also bring a good experience and good works for their home country,” Judge Oeung Seang said.
“But, instead, they have made themselves gangsters.”
The returnee trio were arrested on August 17 after the victim of their “gangster” activities, TVK deputy director So Sitha, complained to police about a drive-by assault on Chroy Changvar Bridge. “Em Seng held a M-16 machine gun in the car and Chan Phith had used it to threaten to kill the victim,” he said. “After threatening, they drove off and managed to escape.”
After police investigated the complaint, they found the fake military uniform in Tim Kimsuth’s bedroom at the house the men shared.
Chan Phith told the court he had merely shown the complainant the gun because he was “drunk” and the complainant had been driving erratically in a way he found annoying.
Tim Kimsuth said that he had bought his military uniform with a two-star general’s insignia from a Phnom Penh shop for US$30.
“I decided to buy the RCAF military uniforms and two-star-general rank because I liked it. I had just worn it in my room only,” he said.
Their verdicts will hand down on December 27, 2011.