Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Two get 16-year sentence for forming armed forces

Two get 16-year sentence for forming armed forces

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The two former military officers were found guilty of illegally establishing armed forces from 2016 to 2018 in Kampong Chhnang and Kampong Speu provinces and Phnom Penh. Fresh News

Two get 16-year sentence for forming armed forces

The Military Court handed down 16-year prison sentences to two former military officials on Thursday after they were found guilty of illegally establishing armed forces from 2016 to 2018 in Kampong Chhnang and Kampong Speu provinces and Phnom Penh.

The two former officials, Sok Bunsoeun, 64, and Roth Chanmony, 47, were members of Intervention Brigade 1.

Military Court spokesman Sar Sareth told The Post that trial chamber president, Judge Pork Pan, found the prosecution’s case stronger because it was based on witness statements and confessions made by the pair on April 28.

The court referenced Article 463 of the Penal Code, which states that “The act of constituting armed forces without authorisation or permission from a legitimate authority is punishable by imprisonment from 15 years to 30 years.”

Sareth said Bunsoeun and Chanmony can appeal the verdict at the Court of Appeal if they wished.

Their defence lawyer To Virak told The Post on Thursday that he didn’t accept the verdict and will discuss the possibility of an appeal with them.

The deputy prosecutor at the trial, Men Hong, said the verdict was appropriate because, in Article 463 of the Criminal Code, the range of jail sentences were from 15 to 30 years.

He said there was clear evidence which incriminated Chanmony and Bunsoeun.

However, because of their age and poor health, the court deemed it proper to only sentence them to 16 years. “The prosecution has no objection [to the sentence],” he said.

Hong said seven of the soldiers recruited by the pair had not made a claim because they knew their recruitment was illegal. As a result, they will also be subjected to court-sanctioned sentences.

“When they sued, they did not seek compensation because the accused selected the soldiers illegally,” Hong said.

Virak said Chanmony told Bunsoeun in 2016 that he would be recruiting people to join the army and demanding money from them to enter the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.

Bunsoeun participated in the operation by finding new soldiers and collecting the money, which he would then give to Chanmony.


  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • Quarantine still a must for all arrivals, in next Covid chapter

    Since early May, an average of five to 10 Cambodian people have died from Covid-19 a day with many others testing positive amid the ongoing community outbreak. At the same time, however, hundreds of patients also recovered a day. The first Covid-19 case in Cambodia was

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth

  • First commercial gold mine online

    Australian miner Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd on June 21 began the commercial operation of its $120 million Okvau Gold Project in the northeastern province of Mondulkiri, becoming the Kingdom’s first gold producer. Located in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province’s Keo Seima district, the