Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ex-CNRP activist’s plea heard



Ex-CNRP activist’s plea heard

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Former court-dissolved CNRP member Kong Mas. Kim Sarom

Ex-CNRP activist’s plea heard

The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard arguments on whether to uphold or dismiss the sentence of former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) member Kong Mas who was imprisoned for one year and six months for insulting Hun Sen in a Facebook post.

Court documents say the then 32-year-old Mas created five Facebook accounts and used them to post offensive messages about government leaders from April to October 2018. He was charged with incitement and insults and found guilty in 2019 under Articles 495 and 502 of the Criminal Code.

The trial judge sentenced Mas and the Court of Appeal upheld the verdict. The Supreme Court will issue a decision on July 15.

Trial Judge Nhoung Thol read the facts before Supreme Court Judge You Yuthara, prosecutor Pen Sarath and Mas’ lawyer Sam Sokong. Judge Thol said Mas had created five Facebook accounts and used them to criticise the government.

The judge read the contents of Mas’ Facebook posts, which included: “Citizens, please rise up and topple the government. We all bring down this regime” and “It is Hun Sen who deprived citizens of a democracy. It is the regime of Hun Sen that kills forests.”

The court also heard that after he was detained, the police found 100,000 leaflets in the province which also aimed to incite chaos.

Mas was sentenced on October 18, last year, and imprisoned for one year and six months for incitement to commit a crime. Mas filed an appeal, but on March 23, the Court of Appeal upheld the Phnom Penh Court of First Instant’s ruling.

Prosecutor Chum Somban argued before the court that Mas confessed about his written text on social media.

“So, the decision of the Court of Appeal to uphold the judgment of the Phnom Penh Court of First Instant is right under the law. I would keep the judgment of the Appeal Court,” he argued.

Mas’ lawyer Sam Sokong argued that his client appealed to the Supreme Court because he is dissatisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeal, which is unfair.

“He just wrote to criticise but not insult as the court mentioned. In a democratic country, a citizen has the right to expression. He asked people not to turn out for the election if there is no CNRP,” he said. He asked that the verdict against his client be overturned.

Mas’ wife Kol Sath said outside the court that since her husband was detained, she has faced many hardships, including raising her 10-year-old daughter.

She said the case is very unfair to her husband because he saw something not good in society and should have the right to express his thoughts as a citizen.

She said her husband has another case from 2019 in Svay Rieng province for criticising the Romeas Haek district governor who subsequently filed a complaint.

The Svay Rieng court imprisoned Mas for 15 days for “defamation and incitement of citizens to hate public officials” and made him pay a fine of 5,000,000 riel ($1,219).

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • PM asks India for vaccine help

    Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking assistance from India for the provision of Covid-19 vaccines as the country has produced its own vaccine which is scheduled to be rolled out to more than 300 million Indians this year. The request was made during his meeting with

  • One million Chinese Covid-19 jabs to start rolling in from February

    The government has confirmed that Covid-19 vaccines from China are set to begin arriving in Cambodia by February. This came as the Ministry of Health recorded two imported cases of Covid-19 on January 18. While calling on people to remain vigilant against the pandemic, ministry spokeswoman