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Sentencing delay for toy gun monk

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Defrocked monk Horn Sophanny escorted by officials after his arrest in June for alleged possesion of a gun. Photo supplied

Sentencing delay for toy gun monk

Sentencing for a defrocked activist monk has been delayed until November 29, following a hearing at the Battambang Provincial Court on Tuesday.

Defendant Horn Sophanny was arrested in June after making a Facebook post criticising Prime Minister Hun Sen while posing with what appears to be a toy gun.

He was defrocked and charged with incitement to commit crimes and illegal weapons possession, provoking a protest from the Independent Monk Network for Social Justice.

His lawyer, Choung Choungy, said yesterday that the sentencing has been delayed.

Tieng Sambo, spokesman for the court, said that “the verdict cannot be declared, so the court will declare the verdict on November 29”, but did not elaborate on the reasons for the delay.

If convicted of both crimes, Sophanny would face between one and five years in prison.

Ying Mengly, provincial coordinator for human rights group Licadho, said that the punishments Sophanny has received are already too severe for such a “minor mistake”.

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