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Thais sent evidence against jailed SRP man

Thais sent evidence against jailed SRP man

FURTHER evidence and a Cambodian investigating judge are being sent to Thailand to

assist with the Cambodian Government's extradition request for Sok Yoeun, who is

accused of involvement in the 1998 rocket attack on Prime Minister Hun Sen's motorcade

in Siem Reap.

The Head of the Military Court of Cambodia, Nay Tol, told the Post on Wednesday that

he was forwarding new evidence to the Thai court including pictures of weapons, documents

and answers to questions from the Thai authorities. The case is due to be heard on

July 26.

"I am also sending my investigating judge to be there [in the court] for this

case," he said.

According to the Bangkok newspaper The Nation of July 5, documents were sent to the

Cambodian Embassy in Bangkok last week. They were being translated before being forwarded

to the Thai foreign Ministry's Treaties and Legal Affairs section.

In September last year Yoeun, a senior Sam Rainsy Party activist from Battambang,

was accused of staging the rocket attack which killed a 12-year-old boy who was sitting

in front of his family's home. No-one in the motorcade was harmed.

He fled to Thailand and was arrested and convicted in Bangkok earlier this year on

immigration charges. He was sentenced to six months' jail and though that sentence

has been served he has not been released pending the outcome of the extradition request.

Yoeun and SRP officials have strenuously denied he was involved in the attack. Human

rights groups have condemned the Government's attempts to prosecute Yoeun, saying

the case is a fabrication and politically motivated. Amnesty International has also

criticized his treatment and has adopted him as a prisoner of conscience.

SRP Deputy Secretary General Meng Rita said the Cambodian government wanted Yoeun

back in Cambodia to put pressure on Sam Rainsy, particularly with commune elections

near.

He said he hoped the Thai court would be just to Yoeun and free him when they realized

this was not a legitimate criminal case.

"We believe that they [the Thai court] will realize that the Sok Yoeun case

is really a political case," he said.

Rita said the party was confident that their reputation for non-violence will weigh

in on Yoeun's behalf.

"We are not worried at all because we never do things like that," he said.

"Our policy is to never use violence and we do not aim to gain power by killing

people."

Sok Yoeun and the head of the party's Bangkok office, Sar Sophorn, are trying to

resettle in a third country with the assistance of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees

(UNHCR).

Rita hinted that a third country had been found for the men to settle in, but he

would not specify which one.

He said Yoeun is in good health and his wife has been allowed to visit him and provide

him with food.

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