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Appeals languishing for bomb plot participants

Appeals languishing for bomb plot participants

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The families of two men convicted by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in 2010 in connection with a failed bomb plot had filed a complaint with a local rights group requesting action in appeals against their 20-year sentences, family members said yesterday.

Pha Lina/Phnom Penh Post
Relatives of two men alleged to be members of the anti-government Khmer National Unity Front speak to Adhoc staff yesterday.

In January, 2009, five people alleged to be members of the anti-government Khmer National Unity Front — also known as the Tiger Head Movement — were charged in connection with a failed bomb plot targeting the Defence Ministry and television station TV3, along with  the recruitment and training of terrorists.

Those charged included Som Ek, the alleged leader of the Tiger Head Movement, who was sentenced to 28 years in prison after he was also previously found guilty of a failed 2007 bomb plot targeting the Cambodian-Vietnamese Friendship Monument.

Three other men — Pov Vannara, Chea Kimyan and Loeuk Bunhean — each received 20-year prison sentences. Another suspect, Phy Savoeung, was acquitted of all charges.

The families of Chea Kimyan and Pov Vannara yesterday appealed for the courts to take action on appeals filed by both men following their convictions in 2010.

Somm Sochear, the wife of Chea Kimyan, told a press conference at the office of rights group Adhoc it had been three years already since her husband was arrested.

“My husband did not do as he was accused. It was very unjust for him; he was not involved with terrorism,” she said.

Chea Kimyan’s daughter, Somm Yeng Bory, 20, said her father was a former soldier who was innocent of the charges.

“Please release him from the prison to allow us to live together as a family,” she said.

Plong Livan, the wife of Pov Vannara, said that the courts had not taken action since her husband filed an appeal against his conviction in 2010.

“My husband is not guilty, and the municipal court had no evidence to sentence my husband,” Plong Livan said.

She claimed that the prosecutor in the case had attempted to force her husband to confess.

Appeal Court general prosecutor Ouk Savuth could not be reached for comment.

At the press conference, senior Adhoc investigator Chan Soveth appealed to the courts to find justice for Chea Kimyan and Pov Vannara who, he claimed, had no involvement in the plot.

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