Sam Rainsy Party Senator Hong Sok Hour, accused of treason in a speech by the prime minister two days ago, was arrested at about 6am this morning at the Phnom Penh home of a fellow opposition lawmaker, police confirmed.
“It is true we have arrested him,” Interior Ministry spokesman General Khieu Sopheak told the Post. “We will send him to the court and whatever charge he receives is the court’s decision.”
Police had surrounded the house of Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmaker Yon Tharo in the capital’s Sen Sok district late Friday evening before making their move early this morning.
Sok Hour was brought out of the house in handcuffs and placed into a black SUV by a large contingent of police.
The SRP senator has been in hiding since Prime Minister Hun Sen called for his “urgent” arrest in a speech on Thursday morning, accusing him of posting a “fake” section of the 1979 Cambodia and Vietnam border treaty on Wednesday.
“Whatever price, the government has to take action.… This is treason; I can say it like this,” Hun Sen said at the time.
While Sok Hour is technically protected by immunity as a senator, a high-ranking police official told the Post on Friday that a warrant for his arrest had been placed in provinces nationwide shortly after the prime minister’s speech and that he would be arrested regardless of his immunity, which would be stripped after the fact.
The ruling Cambodian People’s Party has a solid majority in the Senate and it is believed a vote to remove Sok Hour's immunity will take place in the near future.