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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Korea envoy claims gov’t probe a ‘setup’

Suth Dina, Cambodian ambassador to South Korea, sits at the Kingdom’s embassy in Seoul earlier this year. Facebook
Suth Dina, Cambodian ambassador to South Korea, sits at the Kingdom’s embassy in Seoul earlier this year. Facebook

Korea envoy claims gov’t probe a ‘setup’

Cambodia's controversial ambassador to South Korea, Suth Dina, has released a public plea to Prime Minister Hun Sen to safeguard his job, amid what appears to be an investigation by the Foreign Affairs Ministry into his office, it emerged yesterday.

Dina took to Facebook on Monday night to denounce the probe and call for Hun Sen to deliver him “justice”.

He said over his two-year tenure he had “sacrificed everything” for the government and CPP and served Cambodians in Korea.

“But I have to bear with a setup scenario of defamation and slander and having people sent to audit me two or three times,” he wrote, adding another group from a “special unit” had arrived on Monday.

Dina said the investigators, whose origin he didn’t specify, had no sense of “work” or “sacrifice”. He also made a veiled reference to a dispute.

“They just gather . . . to complain, slander and defame my reputation in order to get me removed from my position, which I use to serve people,” he said.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs representatives were unreachable yesterday, while government spokesman Phay Siphan said it was an internal matter for the Foreign Ministry.

Dina has been criticised for frequently warning Cambodia’s large diaspora in South Korea to stay away from opposition activities, at times threatening them with arrest and deportation.

In January, he claimed that he was working with South Korean “special intelligence” to track down anti-government migrants working illegally in Korea.

Sufficiently scared, several migrant workers subsequently turned themselves into Dina and offered videotaped apologies for alleged wrongdoing that the ambassador then posted on his Facebook page.

South Korean authorities that the Post has spoken to have said they know nothing of a joint operation. additional reporting by Shaun Turton

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