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Beaten MPs to seek stiffer sentencing for Bodyguard Unit attackers

Sot Vanny (left) and Mao Hoeun (right), pictured appearing at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in April for beating two CNRP lawmakers.
Sot Vanny (left) and Mao Hoeun (right), pictured appearing at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in April for beating two CNRP lawmakers. Pha Lina

Beaten MPs to seek stiffer sentencing for Bodyguard Unit attackers

The lawyer for two opposition lawmakers brutally beaten by at least 16 men outside the National Assembly last year will next week file an appeal against the largely suspended sentence given to three of the attackers.

Soldiers Mao Hoeung, Sut Vanny and Chhay Sarith were sentenced to four years in prison over the brutal attack on CNRP lawmakers Kong Saphea and Nhay Chamroeun, though all but a year was suspended. Counting time already served, the trio will be out in five months.

Attorney Sam Sokong said he would lodge documents with the Appeal Court and the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia calling for a stiffer penalty for the three, who are members of the prime minister’s Bodyguard Unit.

He said the filing would also reference the recent seven-year sentence handed to three opposition members for their alleged role in a 2014 post-election protest that turned violent. “If we compare the action and punishment, they are not consistent,” Sokong said, suggesting a term of between six and seven years.

Chamroeun, who required surgery for his injuries, yesterday called his attackers’ sentence “a joke”.