Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Social media celebrity Pheng Vannak released from jail

Social media celebrity Pheng Vannak released from jail

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Lieutenant Colonel Pheng Vannak smiles as he was released from prison, following the verdict handed down by Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday. Hong Menea

Social media celebrity Pheng Vannak released from jail

Facebook celebrity Lieutenant Colonel Pheng Vannak was released from prison on Monday evening after Phnom Penh Municipal Court handed down its verdict earlier in the day – sentencing him to one year in prison with all but two months and 15 days suspended.

That was the time Vannak had served in pre-trial detention, and hence, he was allowed to walk free on Monday.

He was convicted of inciting others to commit crimes and defaming public figures.

“We released him from prison at around 6pm on Monday,” the Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Prisons spokesperson Nuth Savna told The Post on Tuesday.

Vannak had been sued by a volunteer lawyer representing Prime Minister Hun Sen, and by another person, for his harsh online comments. And on April 2, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court issued a warrant to arrest and detain him.

Sous Vichea Randy, deputy director of the administrative secretariat at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, told The Post that the court sentenced Vannak to one year’s imprisonment but allowed him free after serving two months and 15 days, with the remainder of his prison sentence suspended.

The court also ordered him to pay a total of six million riel ($1,470).

Vannak is not only a public figure known for his severe criticism of injustice in society which has been shared widely on Facebook, he was also a lieutenant colonel at the Ministry of National Defence before his imprisonment.

Ministry of National Defence spokesman Chum Socheat told The Post on Tuesday that Vannak is no longer serving at the ministry.

“It’s true that Pheng Vannak is no longer a military official after the court handed down a final verdict,” he said.

He said that in accordance with Ministry of National Defence rules, the ministry would revoke any position or titles from criminals to enable the courts to enforce the law, because, according to military law, soldiers cannot be punished without first having their positions revoked or with the permission of their military organisations.


  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Hun Sen: Manet to be candidate for prime minister

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has reaffirmed that his oldest son Hun Manet will be his successor as Prime Minister if he is elected. Speaking during the inauguration of a new sewage treatment facility in Preah Sihanouk province on December 2, Hun Sen said Manet will be