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Minor party files suit over drunken death threat against leader

League for Democracy Party leader Khem Veasna attends a party campaign rally held in May in Kandal’s Takhmao town.
League for Democracy Party leader Khem Veasna attends a party campaign rally held in May in Kandal’s Takhmao town. Heng Chivoan

Minor party files suit over drunken death threat against leader

The League for Democracy Party filed a court complaint this week on behalf of its leader Khem Veasna after prominent Facebook personality San Buntheoun threatened to kill him and blamed him for “wiping out religion”.

Buntheoun moonlights as a citizen journalist, often live-streaming major news events on his popular Facebook page. But he has also been known to live-stream drunken rants, which have also led to an incitement lawsuit filed in June by fellow social media celebrity Thy Sovantha.

In the LDP case, Buntheoun again took to Facebook in an inebriated state on December 16 and began to berate Veasna after the LDP leader’s followers allegedly left negative comments on his social media page.

“I am honestly speaking, I have to shoot Khem Veasna. No matter if I will be jailed for 20 years or 100 years, I have to shoot Khem Veasna in the head,” he says in the video.

Buntheoun claimed if he did not shoot Veasna, the latter would destroy Buddhism, though he did not elaborate. Veasna has earned a reputation for his fiery stump speeches, often aimed at the monkhood’s alleged shortcomings.

“I will buy a Smith [& Wesson gun]. Police! Military Police! You can surround me and arrest me,” he says, in the two-minute viral clip.

LDP official Chheuy Bunthoeun filed the lawsuit with the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday accusing Buntheoun of making a death threat under Article 233 of the Criminal Code and demanding $100,000 in damages. However, San Buntheoun yesterday apologised for his transgression, blaming it on his drunkeness.

“I would like to request the court to ignore the complaint because I said it when I was drunk. So, if they sue me, I would say sorry,” he said.

But, LDP’s Chheuy Bunthoeun was in no mood to forgive the social media celebrity.

“If he just says sorry, it means that he could kill anyone and then say, ‘I was drunk; I am sorry’,” he said.

Updated: 7:18am, Friday 22 December 2017

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