Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - On the hunt for opposition lawmaker

On the hunt for opposition lawmaker

Opposition Senator Hong Sok Hour at the party’s headquarters on Monday.
Opposition Senator Hong Sok Hour at the party’s headquarters on Monday. Vireak Mai

On the hunt for opposition lawmaker

A senior police official yesterday said officers nationwide were seeking to arrest opposition senator Hong Sok Hour despite his parliamentary immunity, confirming an arrest warrant had been issued on Thursday, just hours after Prime Minister Hun Sen accused the lawmaker of treason over a Facebook post.

Deputy National Police Commissioner Chhay Sinarith said the warrant, issued by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, had been circulated to officers around the country in a bid to find Sok Hour, who went into hiding after the premier called for his arrest.

“We don’t know where he’s hiding, but if he shows up, he will be sent to court,” Sinarith said.

Although the Ministry of Justice has yet to request a Senate vote to revoke the Sam Rainsy Party senator’s immunity, Sinarith defended the legality of the manhunt.

“The police are just implementing the court warrant. It’s an actual offence for which we need to arrest him first and then the Senate will strip his immunity later,” he said.

On Thursday morning, Hun Sen said Sok Hour, a French-Cambodian citizen, committed treason by posting a fake section of a 1979 border treaty between Cambodia and Vietnam, which states the countries would dissolve their national borders.

Cambodia National Rescue Party spokesman Ou Chanrith yesterday said Sok Hour was apologetic about posting the treaty, which has since been taken down along with an accompanying video of him discussing the document.

“He wants to correct the mistakes he has made,” Chanrith said, adding the CNRP hoped an apology could appease the premier and lead to a compromise.

So far, attempts by CNRP lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang and Sam Rainsy Party president Kong Korn to discuss the case with Senate President Say Chhum have been rebuffed.

Ministry of Justice spokesman Chin Malin said he had heard CNRP deputy president Kem Sokha and Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng may meet to discuss a compromise but did not know when.

SRP Senator Teav Vannol said he hoped CNRP president Sam Rainsy could strike a deal with Prime Minister Hun Sen upon returning from France on Sunday.

“If the prime minister says no, then there’s not much we can do,” Vannol said.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan, however, said the matter was now out of the premier’s hands, claiming although he had the right to order prosecutors to investigate crimes, he had no influence over the subsequent investigation.

“If the court sees that there’s nothing wrong, then [the prime minister] cannot do anything.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all