A man who posted a message on Facebook threatening prominent Cambodian academic Sok Touch will serve less than two more weeks in jail after being sentenced at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday.
Phorng Seyha, from Prey Veng province, was charged on September 7 with “threatening to kill” under Article 233 of the Penal Code after he posted a picture of a pistol next to an image of the head of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s border research team, Sok Touch, and wrote: “The gun is being kept to shoot Sok Touch in the head, a dog doctor, a doctor that changes history and a doctor that sold his brain to yuon [a reference to Vietnamese considered offensive by many].”
According to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s sentence handed down on Tuesday, and posted on the National Police website yesterday, Seyha was ordered to serve 18 months in prison and a fine of 1 million riel ($250). However, his sentence was reduced to six months and he will be out on March 7 thanks to time already served.
After the sentencing, Sok Touch took to his Facebook page to make it known that the charges were bought about by the court. “For the prosecution of the youth who threatened to kill me, it is the court’s procedures,” he said. “I have not sued him under either the criminal or civil code.”
Mao Sopheak, Phorng Seyha’s wife, told the Post that the judge’s decision seemed unfair when another Facebook user who threatened Interior Minister Sar Kheng was shown leniency.