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KNLF member asks for reduced sentence

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Hin Chan, a member of the Khmer National Liberation Front, is led into the Supreme Court on Wednesday. Pha Lina

KNLF member asks for reduced sentence

A member of the banned Khmer National Liberation Front (KNLF) asked the Supreme Court on Wednesday to reduce his jail term to five years from seven, claiming he did not know that the KNLF was a terrorist group.

Hin Chan, 36, told the court he was not aware the group had been labelled a terrorist organisation by the government.

“I joined the KNLF in Thailand because I learned new things and wanted to implement them and contribute something to the nation. I did not know what I did went against the government,” Chan said in testimony to the court panel, presided by Judge Kong Srim.

Chan was arrested in Cambodia while distributing KNLF booklets and other material. He had travelled from Thailand with a forged passport. He was sentenced to seven years for conspiracy to overthrow the government and forgery of a public document.

“I brought the booklets along because I wanted to share the information in them. But the government said this activity is wrong. I would like the court to lower my sentence to five years because the people I so believed in had ‘ill-intended minds’.

“If I had known that before, I would not have gone against the heroic achievements of Samdech Hun Sen,” Chan said.

His lawyers, Sam Sokong and Sous Vannak, said because their client did not know the KNLF was a terrorist organisation, he couldn’t have intended to overthrow the government.

Nevertheless, the prosecutor, Uk Kimsith, said Chan had participated in several seminars in Bangkok organised by Sam Serey, the KNLF leader who was sentenced in 2016 to nine years in prison for conspiracy.

The verdict is due to be delivered next Monday.