Council of Ministers says the meeting minutes were not intended to be made public and vows to carry out an investigation into the leak.
Former commander-in-chief of RCAF Ke Kim Yan, shown here while in inspecting troops in Preah Vihear.
THE spokesman for the Council of Ministers condemned the recent leak of a document detailing the January 23 Cabinet meeting at which officials discussed the removal of Ke Kim Yan from his post as commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.
Various media outlets, including Voice of America, Radio Free Asia and several newspapers, published stories about the meeting minutes over the weekend.
"This document is only for the government," said spokesman Phay Siphan in an interview with the Post Sunday. "It is the government's internal work, and it is not for the public."
He called the release of the minutes illegal and said the government would conduct an investigation to find out who was behind the leak.
He did not, however, dispute the veracity of the stories published about the report.
According to the document, the government's decision to remove Ke Kim Yan on January 22 and to replace him with his deputy, Pol Sareoun, was designed to accomplish two goals: to expedite reforms among RCAF "rank and file" as well as to prevent "a top, powerful person" from conducting "their business by using the name of RCAF for their own benefit".
The document states that officials approved an investigation into Ke Kim Yan's land deals, which would be carried out by the military and by various government bodies.
The document states that Ke Kim Yan was involved in land deals in Phnom Penh, near Preah Vihear temple and in Stung Treng province, among other places.
A high-ranking official at the Council of Ministers who spoke on anonymity said the Ministry of National Defence planned to remove soldiers who had been sent by Ke Kim Yan to protect companies involved in his land deals.
"They will start to withdraw commanders loyal to Ke Kim Yan in the next step," he said.
Another high-ranking official in the Ministry of Defence who also requested on anonymity said a list of RCAF commanders slated for removal, which was sent to Minister of Defence Tea Banh earlier this month, had not yet been approved in part because Tea Banh was fearful that additional removals would contribute to greater turmoil within the RCAF.