Chhun Yasith – the Cambodian-American who tried to violently overthrow Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government in 2000 using a ragtag militia he commanded – had his life sentence without parole upheld by a US appeals court on Tuesday.
Yasith, founder of the US-based Cambodian Freedom Fighters (CFF), was arrested in 2005 for organising a November 2000 attack on government buildings in Phnom Penh that left eight dead and 14 injured.
He was found guilty of violating the US Neutrality Act, which outlaws military operations against nations with which the US is at peace, in April 2008 at the US District Court in Los Angeles.
He was sentenced to life without parole in 2010.
According to the California-based Courthouse News Service, judges at the 9th Circuit Appeals Court upheld the conviction on Tuesday, saying “it is not absurd for Congress to want to prevent people within the borders of the United States from plotting to commit murder in a foreign country”.