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Man jailed for threat against PM appeals

Ven Sopheap is escorted out of Phnom Penh Municipal Court in February after his trial for allegedly threatening the life of Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Ven Sopheap is escorted out of Phnom Penh Municipal Court in February after his trial for allegedly threatening the life of Prime Minister Hun Sen. Pha Lina

Man jailed for threat against PM appeals

A man serving a two-year prison sentence for making death threats against Prime Minister Hun Sen in a Facebook video appealed his release a year early during an Appeal Court hearing yesterday in which he urged fellow citizens not to follow in his footsteps.

Ven Sopheap, 28, said he had not created the video, but instead downloaded it from the internet and edited it to carry his “Sopheap Konkhmer” Facebook moniker before recirculating it in July last year.

“I had just learned how to play on Facebook,” he said. “Back then, I did not know about the law and that this was a mistake.”

The video shows a doll piled on a clump of incense, which a male voice offscreen compares to Prime Minister Hun Sen.

“The body of Hun Sen will melt like this,” the voice says. “This is your last life and you should walk away from being prime minister.”

Sopheap was arrested in October last year and in February was sentenced to two years in prison by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on charges of threatening to kill and incitement.

Having admitted his guilt and served a year of his sentence, he asked for an early release, “but I also want to tell all the people not to follow my footsteps”, he said.

A verdict will be announced on October 30.

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