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Wife begs for leniency in Sok Touch threat case

The pregnant wife of a man accused of posting a Facebook death threat against Cambodian researcher Sok Touch yesterday said that she begged authorities for clemency, and that her husband had sought Touch’s forgiveness.

Mao Sopheak, 27, a former construction worker living in Prey Veng’s Ba Phnom district, is the wife of suspect Phorng Seiha, also a construction worker. She said that without a job, she has no money to feed herself, her 5-year-old daughter and her second child, due to be born in less than a month.

“Now he knows about his mistakes. He was very sorry for his ignorance and his lack of consideration. He asked for forgiveness and tolerance from Dr Sok Touch,” she said during an interview yesterday.

Seiha, who faces between six months and two years in prison, apologised to Touch in an October 17 letter, denying any real intent to go through with his threat, Sopheak said.

Touch responded that he had not accused Seiha in court, and advised the couple to deal with the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s prosecutor and the police.

Court prosecutor Seang Sok said yesterday that the case was out of his hands, and referred questions to investigating judge Khy Chhay, who could not be reached for comment.

According to the police report, Seiha was arrested on September 5 after allegedly posting a photo of a pistol and bullets captioned “they [are] for killing the PhD guy who changes Cambodia’s history; the PhD who sold himself to Vietnam”.

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