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Would-be arsonist’s case heard

The man charged with attempting to burn down the Japanese embassy this summer, in hopes the crime would lead to his incarceration – and later release – in Japan, was heard in court yesterday.

Daing Phukok, 22, a Vietnamese national, was arrested on July 1, after he allegedly threw a flaming package at the Japanese embassy in Chamkarmon district, and charged with attempting to cause intentional damage.

In Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday, Phukok pleaded with Judge Chuon Soreasey for lieniency, explaining that he was just looking for a way to move to Japan.

“The reason I decided to burn the Embassy of Japan in Phnom Penh is because I wanted the embassy to arrest me and send me to jail in Japan; I wanted to live and work in Japan because their jobs pay well,” Phukok said in court.

“I realise my mistake now, and would like to ask for a pardon from the embassy of Japan.”

A verdict is due on January 15.

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