Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Appeal Court upholds terrorism convictions

Appeal Court upholds terrorism convictions

Appeal Court upholds terrorism convictions

The Court of Appeal yesterday upheld the convictions of two men from Bangladesh and a third from Nepal who were convicted in 2011 and each sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of having planned a terrorist plot against three foreign embassies in Phnom Penh.

Presiding judge Chay Chandaravann said Bangladeshi nationals Rafiqul Eslami, 44, Miah Muhammed Huymayan Kabir, 65, and Nepalese national DP Paudel, 47, would remain in prison, where they have been since their arrest in April 2010 after the US, Australian and British embassies reportedly received terrorist threats in the form of letters bearing what appeared to be the men’s signatures.

Muong Sokun, a defence lawyer for Eslami, as well as Chea Sophy, the attorney for the other defendants, said their clients would appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

“I think that the decision of Appeal Court was very unjust for my client, because there was not any real proof to show that he committed this offence as accused,” said Sokun.

Eslami has claimed that the letter was written by people who were attempting to extort money from him in a business deal.

At least at one time, the police seemingly agreed.

“During our month-long investigation, we realised that the person who wrote the anonymous letter to the embassies accusing the four men of terrorism was actually just jealous that their restaurants were doing good business,” national police spokesman Kirt Chantharith told the Post in 2010.

When contacted yesterday, however, Chantharith said that he remembered the case, but “never said that”.

Dun Vibol, who was no longer involved with the case, but represented Kabir in the original trial, said yesterday that forensic police ruled the letter a fake at trial, but because it was a terrorism case, “no one dared dismiss the charge”.

“In my experience, a difficult case like this, I think that only the Supreme Court can decide,” he added.  

The British, US and Australian embassies declined to comment on the case.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at [email protected]
Stuart White at [email protected]


  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • ‘Do not harm Cambodians’, says PM’s son to opposition

    Prime Minister Hun Sen’s eldest son Hun Manet said on Sunday that the Kingdom would not bow to international pressure, and accused some Western countries of siding with opposition politicians who hold dual citizenship to exert pressure on Cambodia. The remarks were made after