Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Coup inciter’ was in my unit, says army brass

‘Coup inciter’ was in my unit, says army brass

Som Sovanara, who the government accuses of attempting to incite a coup, is shown in a screengrab from a videotaped message. Facebook
Som Sovanara, who the government accuses of attempting to incite a coup, is shown in a screengrab from a videotaped message. Facebook

‘Coup inciter’ was in my unit, says army brass

The Ministry of Defence and Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) have offered conflicting accounts as to whether a Cambodian living in Canada, Som Sovanara, who allegedly called for a coup on YouTube, ever served in the Cambodian military.

Defence Ministry spokesman Chhum Socheat said the RCAF had searched through its rosters but found no trace of Sovanara, who sent an image of what he said was his army ID card to a Post reporter yesterday.

“His name wasn’t on the list of 100,000 soldiers . . . He faked it in order to cause chaos,” Socheat said. “I am checking on this issue of where he got the documents from.”

However, Lieutenant General Srey Deuk, commander of RCAF Intervention Division Three, yesterday said he took Sovanara on as a soldier for less than half a year in late 2011 to make use of his computer skills.

However, Deuk said Sovanara had never signed a contract.

Sovanara told the Post last week that he was granted asylum by Canada in 2013. However, Socheat said the Defence Ministry was optimistic Sovanara would be apprehended.

“We have many procedures [available to us]. His home was here, his relatives live here. He flew away, but he left his nest. We have our ways and we are working on it,” Socheat said. “If we did not have hope, we would not do this.”

Phnom Penh Municipal Court administrator Y Rin said yesterday that a prosecutor had been assigned to Sovanara’s case but denied knowing any further details. Court spokesman Ly Sophana could not be reached for comment.

In a message yesterday, Sovanara said he was not worried about getting arrested, but would not surrender.

“If the courts had independence and justice I would come to answer at the court,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: All 10 Asean countries to receive Rainsy arrest warrants

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Thursday that all 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member states will receive warrants for the arrest of Sam Rainsy. The warrants have already been sent to Laos and Thailand. He was speaking at a joint press conference at

  • Human rights report biased, says Cambodia

    Cambodia has accused the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday of having “undermined the principle of objectivity”. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the UN said the Office of the

  • Kingdom okays 2,400MW power purchase from Laos

    A cabinet meeting on Wednesday decided that the government will purchase 2,400MW of electricity from Laos. A briefing document uploaded by government spokesman Phay Siphan to his Facebook page confirmed this. It said Cambodia will buy exclusive power from two coal-fired power plants in Laos –

  • The need to establish research universities in Cambodia

    In an era of the globalisation and internationalisation of higher education, it is difficult, if not impossible, to disregard the regional and global trend toward building world-class universities. Many governments in Asia and Africa are making significant efforts to establish research-intensive universities to catch up