Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Couple flees country over leaflet accusation

Couple flees country over leaflet accusation

Couple flees country over leaflet accusation

TWO opposition Sam Rainsy Party activists suspected of distributing antigovernment leaflets in the capital last week have fled to Thailand for fear of arrest, but continue to deny any involvement in the incident.

Chea Socheab and his wife Chea Daly came under suspicion after the fliers appeared around Wat Phnom on the morning of August 11. A motorbike-taxi driver arrested in connection with the incident told police that he took Chea Daly to distribute the leaflets on that day and then dropped her off at the SRP’s headquarters on Sothearos Boulevard.

The two fled to Thailand soon afterwards.
Speaking by phone yesterday, Chea Socheab denied any involvement in the scattering of the fliers.

“My wife has been pregnant for five or six months; how was she able to do that? The government must find clear proof to accuse us,” he said. “I have wondered so much about why they have accused us like this.”

He said that the pair had no idea about the origin of the fliers, which lambasted the ruling Cambodian People’s Party and accused senior officials of being stooges of Vietnam.

Chea Socheab, a longtime SRP activist who was briefly arrested during election campaigning in 2003, said that he and his wife fled because they did not trust the Cambodian court system to try their case fairly.

Phnom Penh municipal police chief Touch Naruth said Tuesday that police had sent the case to the court and he would pursue the couple if requested.

“If an offence has occurred, I must follow it. I will not give up,” he said.

Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak said yesterday that police have not yet received an arrest warrant for the pair, and that there was little evidence tying the two to the leaflets. “If he flees it is up to him. We do not have anything to put the heat on him,” he said.

Chan Soveth, a senior investigator for local rights group Adhoc, confirmed that the pair had contacted his organisation from Thailand seeking help, and called on the authorities to drop the charges.

“We must receive the criticism. We are public officials,” he said.

SRP spokesman Yim Sovann declined to comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Monks given ‘Samdech’ title for contributions

    Three senior monks on Thursday were given the highest-ranking title “samdech”, with Prime Minister Hun Sen saying that the promotions were due to their contributions to Buddhism. The three distinguished monks were promoted on Thursday morning at Botum Vatey pagoda in Phnom Penh, at a

  • Facing possible sanctions, PM criticises Washington’s rights record

    While United States congressmen are discussing the Cambodia Democracy Act and an amendment that could impose more sanctions against Cambodia’s government, Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday counterattacked by questioning the respect of human rights and democracy under the US-backed Lon Nol regime, and