A United States army officer of Cambodian descent has been found guilty of passing on classified military information and failing to report contacts he had within the Cambodian military and government, US media reported yesterday.
Major Seivirak Inson, 43, who fled Cambodia after his parents were killed under the Khmer Rouge, was sentenced to 10 years confinement by a military jury on Friday, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.
Inson, who was based at the US Pacific Command in Hawaii, was accused of transmitting classified intelligence assessments about Cambodia between 2009 and 2012 to “an unidentified person not entitled to have them”, it reported.
He was, among a litany of charges including adultery, found not guilty of collecting information about US officers of Cambodian descent with “the intent to transmit that information to the Cambodian military”, the newspaper said.
According to local media outlet Hawaii News Now, military prosecutors said Inson attempted to pass “a number of military secrets to members connected to the Cambodian government”.
Lieutenant General Nem Sovath, chief of cabinet at the Defence Ministry, said neither he nor the ministry were aware of the case.
“We do not know this person. The Ministry of National Defense of Cambodia has never been involved in the issues raised,” he said.
General Pol Saroeun, Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, said he did not know about the case.
“Nothing like this ever happened,” he said.
The US embassy in Phnom Penh referred the Post to the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) in Hawaii yesterday, as the case was a “military judicial matter”. USPACOM could not be reached for comment.
According to the Star-Advertiser, Inson’s lawyer, Emmanuel Tipon, told the court Inson had compiled information about Cambodian-American army members for social purposes and “networking”. Although Inson was not charged with espionage, he said the prosecution had tried to paint him as a Cambodian government spy.