Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fired bodyguard boss in court

Fired bodyguard boss in court

Fired bodyguard boss in court


The former chief of Senate president Chea Sim’s bodyguard unit appeared in Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday charged with four offences including possessing weapons without permission and faking public documents.

Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post
Former chief of Chea Sim’s bodyguard unit Choeun Chanthan gets escorted from the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday.

Chhoeun Chanthan, a former lieutentant-general, also known as Mao, 41, denied the charges against him, which also included issuing weapons and licences to unauthorised persons and using fake documents.

“The charges are an injustice because I have not committed these things,” he told the court.

Chhoeun Chanthan was arrested with three other bodyguards on August 13 last year when police and military police seized weapons and ammunition in a raid on his house in Chamkarmorn district’s Boeung Keng Kang III commune, in Phnom Penh.

“All the weapons and ammunition that I kept in my house were legal and belonged to Samdech Chea Sim’s bodyguard unit,” he said.

Chhoeun Chanthan said he had been storing AK-47s, machines guns and pistols that he had carried to protect Chea Sim.

“I had ordered my soldiers to bring them and put them temporarily in my house because some of the weapons were broken during the mission and I needed to check them properly before returning them to the unit,” he said.

“As bodyguard chief, I had the right to grant permission to soldiers or officers under my commands to possess pistols or weapons. But I never issued them to those who were not competent nor did I fake any documents.”

Put Theavy, Chhoeun Chanthan’s defence lawyer, said people jealous of his client’s position had set him up.

Chhoeun Chanthan was sacked as Chea Sim’s bodyguard chief and as deputy commander at the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces after his arrest.

Top Chhun Leng, representing prosecutor, said enough evidence existed to convict Chhoeun Chanthan.

“I would like to ask the judge to decide on his case,” he said.

Suos Sam Ath, presiding judge, said a verdict would be given  on February 16.


  • Phnom Penh authorities ban march for Human Rights Day

    Phnom Penh authorities have banned a planned march as local NGOs and workers’ unions gear up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, with a youth group leader saying they would march nonetheless. The UN

  • Phnom Penh’s Jet’s Container Night Market shuts down

    The famous Jet’s Container Night Market in central Phnom Penh has shut down due to the high cost of the land rental, company representatives claim. Jet’s Container Night Market is the largest such market in Phnom Penh. It operated for just over two

  • Hun Sen rejects ‘rift’ rumours spread by ‘stupid gangsters’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday denied a “rift” among top leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), and rejected claims that Senate president Say Chhum and Interior Minister Sar Kheng were set to be removed from their positions as rumours spread by “gangsters”.

  • EU ambassador to Cambodia: Rights a ‘work in progress’

    The EU ambassador to Cambodia has called human rights “a work in progress” and said the 28-nation bloc has “carefully” noted last week’s statement by the government on taking further steps to strengthen democracy and the political sphere in the Kingdom. The EU marked