Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Court grills fake army recruiters

Court grills fake army recruiters

Court grills fake army recruiters

A Military Court on Tuesday tried two former military personnel in connection with illegal armed forces operations from 2016 to 2018 in Kompong Chhnang, Kompong Speu and Phnom Penh. A verdict is expected be announced on May 7.

According to To Virak, one of the two defence lawyers, the court was comprised of three judges, including Trial Chamber president Pork Porn, and Men Hong, a deputy prosecutor.

Virak, a lawyer for one of the accused, Sok Bunthoeun, 64, told The Post that his client had told the judges he knew the other defendent Roth Chanmony, 47, for many years.

In 2016, he was told by Chanmony that he wanted to recruit an armed force and was looking for people to join the army.

Virak said his client then recruited people by collecting money for them to become members of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF).

At first, Chanmony tried to deny this, Virak said, but because two witnesses confirmed this to the judge and showed evidence, Chanmony acknowledged that he was involved in collecting money from Bunthoeun.

Virak confirmed that the illegal armed forces group did not have a clear team or commander. But they had an application for the army with the profiles and identities of the recruits.

“Chanmony admitted that he had received the money from Bunthoeun,” Virak said.

The lawyer concluded that his client was old and before being arrested he had been working in the military since 1979.

So he had a long employment history but was just greedy. In all, Chanmony selected 114 people to serve in the army.

“My client is also a victim, so I asked the court to release him,” Virak said.

According to court records, the two were active in Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Speu and Phnom Penh between 2016 and June 2018.

The two were busted in 2019.

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