Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Officials ‘duty-bound to stop coup plotters’ as more arrested

Officials ‘duty-bound to stop coup plotters’ as more arrested

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Siem Reap Provincial Court said in a press release on Monday that it had issued an arrest warrant for 28-year-old Chen Sokngeng for ‘plotting’. FACEBOOK

Officials ‘duty-bound to stop coup plotters’ as more arrested

The Battambang Provincial Court on Monday decided to charge two Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) coup plotters.

In the meantime, the Siem Reap Provincial Court prosecutor also issued a warrant ordering police to arrest another CNRP coup plotter.

A press release on Monday said Battambang Provincial Court’s prosecutor had ruled to charge Suon Chamroeun, 39, and Phong Socheat, 46, and other unnamed accomplices with “plotting” under Article 453 of the Criminal Code.

“The charges involve mobilising and galvanising the public to participate in the plot to topple the government of Cambodia as per the convict Sam Rainsy’s plot to return. The pair were charged following appeals [to orchestrate a coup] by the convict Sam Rainsy and his accomplices,” the press release said.

It said Chamroeun, Socheat and their accomplices planned to lead a group of coup plotters to Phnom Penh to “participate in activities to topple the government on November 9”.

“Those involved in supporting or participating in implementing the plan to stage a coup to topple the government would face charges and be sent to court to be punished with a prison sentence of five to 10 years for plotting under Article 453 of the Criminal Code,” the press release said.

The arrests come amid a crackdown on CNRP coup plotters in the Kingdom. The Post reported last week that more than 20 people have been either arrested or charged with “plotting” since Rainsy announced his return to the Kingdom next month to coincide with Constitution Day.

The Siem Reap Provincial Court said in a press release on Monday that it had issued an arrest warrant for Chen Sokngeng, 28, also for “plotting”.

“Rainsy has called on his accomplices to use a budget and illegally form [militias] and arm rebels to participate in the coup plan,” the press release said of Rainsy’s proposed budget for Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) members who defect in support of the coup plotters.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of National Defence on Tuesday issued a statement defending an order of its minister Tea Banh which instructed commanders, deputy commanders and soldiers of the Brigade 70 military unit to cooperate with the relevant authorities and institutions to act against Rainsy and his accomplices.

The statement said the RCAF is charged by the Constitution to “defend the nation and king”, in reference to Tea Banh’s speech on Tuesday during a ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the elite Brigade 70 unit.

“The RCAF must implement the order absolutely because this issue is related to the development, security, peace, economic and political stability of the Kingdom.

“However, if there is a conflict between a party with another party, the RCAF will keep its independence. But the activities of Rainsy and his accomplices cannot be tolerated,” the statement stated.

Former CNRP lawmaker Ou Chanrath told The Post that the crackdown indicates that the government is growing increasingly concerned about Rainsy’s plan to instigate a coup.

“It is an overreaction. If the arrests, violation of human rights, and especially the freedom of expression continue, citizens will be afraid. These arrests do not benefit Cambodia at all,” claimed Chanrath.

But National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun held a different view. He said police officials were obliged to stop and arrest those involved in a coup plot against the elected government.

“Therefore, after Rainsy’s declaration of plans to topple the government, police officials arrested 40 coup plotters and another three came forward on their own to confess their involvement,” Khoeun said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10