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Militia conviction upheld for six

The Appeal Court yesterday upheld the verdicts for six men each sentenced to between 15 and 17 years in prison for being members of a paramilitary force aiming to overthrow the government.

Plang Somnang, director of the court’s presiding committee, said the court had decided to uphold the 2011 municipal court verdict, which found the group, all aged between 40 and 65 years old, guilty.

“The Appeal Court decided to uphold the municipal court’s verdict and will continue to detain the suspects procedurally,” the judge said, without giving a specific reason.

Chea Saran, 51, the leader of the group made up of former members of opposition Sam Rainsy Party, blamed the decision on politics.

“It is a political issue, [so] no one helps us. But I will now take the case to the Supreme Court,” he said.

The so-called Sovannaphumi Army, claims to have been given $20 million from the Taiwanese government.

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