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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Widow goes into hiding

Widow goes into hiding

THUN Bun Ly's second wife has gone into hiding after what friends and family say

is harassment by police because of an alleged conspiracy to kill Second Prime Minister

Hun Sen's children.

"Since the death of her husband police have visited her four times," said

a relative who asked not to be named. "They say she is part of a plot to kill

Hun Sen's children."

In a speech made in Kompong Cham on May 21, Hun Sen asserted that the assassination

of Thun Bun Ly had led to a plot to kill his children in France and America.

He said Cambodian authorities had recorded telephone conversations between a person

in France and one of Bun Ly's widows and another person in Phnom Penh on May 19.

The conversations had, he said, confirmed information authorities had received "more

than 20 days ago".

A group of people met in Phnom Penh and said that "if something happened",

they would arrange to kill his children abroad.

After the murder of Bun Ly, which Hun Sen said "we feel very sorrowful"

for, the plotters had spoken about carrying out the plan.

"We tapped the voice of the person who spoke from France...I ask that those

who make this attempt to stop it. Your conversation was fully recorded," Hun

Sen said in his speech broadcast by a CPP radio station.

"If we want to arrest these people, we will be prepared to do so when they take

action. But we don't want all these matters to occur. If you dare... kill Hun Sen's

children, you cannot get away."

It was unclear who Hun Sen was referring to, but at one point in his speech he appeared

to be talking to Prince Norodom Sirivudh or another member of the Royal family.

"Last year, although you are a Royal family member, I succeeded in arresting

you according to the law because you attempted to kill me. Now you are attempting

to kill my children. I won't kill you but I know who you are."

There are several Royals in France, including Sirivudh, exiled last year over a claimed

plot to kill Hun Sen, and Prince Norodom Chakrapong, exiled in 1994 after a coup

attempt.

Friends and family of Sirivudh denied that he would have anything to do with threatening

children.

Sam Rainsy, leader of the Khmer Nation Party which Bun Ly belonged to, said he doubted

Sirivudh or Chakrapong would say such things.

Chakrapong, he said, was hoping to be allowed to return to Cambodia, while Sirivudh

"has drawn a lesson from what happened" last year.

Rainsy said he knew nothing about any telephone conversation with Bun Ly's widow,

but was aware of the visits to her by police. "I think it's very unfair... How

could she be part of any plot? They are trying to divert attention from the murder."

On the alleged telephone call, he said: "Maybe it was a provocation. Anybody

can call anybody whose phone may be tapped and say do you want to kill Hun Sen?"

Alternatively, he said, "I could imagine somebody very angry in France, who

was shocked [at Bun Ly's murder]. Who would be willing to listen to him? Bun Ly's

widow. They could speak out their hearts together... but as for it being a real plot,

that's ridiculous."

Police sources confirmed that a tape recording of a telephone call did exist would

not provide details.

Meanwhile, Hun Sen has sought the help of United States and French authorities to

protect his children. The countries are understood to have made some security arrangements.

Hun Sen has two children in America - his son Hun Manet, 18, who is studying at the

West Point Military Academy, and a 16 year old daughter. He has two sons, aged 14

and 15, at school in France.

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