A three-star lieutenant general with the Ministry of Defence has been stripped of his advisory role and dismissed from the military after being charged with allegedly threatening his in-laws.
Ho Chamroeun had earlier been promoted as personal adviser to Prime Minister Hun Sen and received the oknha title from the King this year.
King Norodom Sihamoni, via a royal decree dated May 23, ordered an “end to the position of His Excellency Ho Chamroeun, personal adviser to Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, prime minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia”.
The royal decree did not provide reasons for the move, but Chamroeun is currently in pretrial detention at Prey Sar prison for allegedly discharging his firearm in a threatening manner in his Dangkor district home in April.
Serving within Hun Sen’s Bodyguard Unit, he was appointed as a personal adviser to the premier in February, together with 10 other military generals. In mid-April, he and his wife received oknha titles from the King.
A little more than a week after receiving the title, he reportedly fired his gun six or seven times to threaten his parents-in-law and his wife. He was arrested in mid-May and charged over the incident.
San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability (ANSA), said there should be stricter conditions for receiving the title of oknha.
“It’s time Cambodia considered the character of individuals proposed for this title. It should also include having a good career record, virtue and contributions to society,” Chey said.
Last year, the minimum donation required to the state to receive the title was increased five-fold, from $100,000 to $500,000.
Chey said in addition to this cost, a request to become an oknha should be evaluated by an independent committee.