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Hun Sen scolds police commissioner over Meach Sovannara’s phone use in prison

Prime Minister Hun Sen presents a graduation certificate to a university student at the National Institute of Education on Tuesday. Facebook
Prime Minister Hun Sen presents a graduation certificate to a university student at the National Institute of Education on Tuesday. Facebook

Hun Sen scolds police commissioner over Meach Sovannara’s phone use in prison

Prime Minister Hun Sen in a speech on Tuesday scolded officials for allegedly allowing opposition figure Meach Sovannara to use a mobile phone in prison and ordered them to remove it “immediately”, while telling Sovannara he would never “come out’.

During a speech at the National Institute of Education, Hun Sen confronted Deputy National Police Commissioner Chhay Sinarith, who was in attendance, saying: “Why do you allow Meach Sovannara to talk on the phone every day? Go quick to take it from Meach Sovannara within one hour.”

Sovannara has been serving a 20-year sentence in Prey Sar prison since 2015 for leading what the government described as an “insurrection” at Freedom Park. He recently sent the premier a letter congratulating on his wedding anniversary, which Sovannara’s assistant described as a “soft” request for a pardon. But on Tuesday, the prime minister warned him: “From prison, no day will you come out.”

Hun Sen also ordered officials to review call logs to see with whom Sovannara had communicated. He said Sovannara “does politics” via his mobile phone, though it was unclear of what nature.

If officials do not resolve the issue, Hun Sen threatened to remove the prison chief and his subordinates.

“When the prison director cannot control, change [the director]... Now [if] he talks on the phone, I will remove the police chief, and remove all,” the premier said.

Prison department operations director Be Tealeng told The Post his department was searching for culprits and the phone.

“We have sent our officials to investigate to check about it,” he said. “The result, we have not known yet.”

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