Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - 20:31:23

Cambodian opposition leader sentenced to five years in jail

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Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy (AFP/VNA)

Phnom Penh (VNA) – The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on December 27 sentenced in absentia Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy and two of his assistants five years in prison over a fake document posted on his Facebook account.

The court convicted Sam Rainsy, President of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), along with aides Ung Chung Leang and Sathya Sambath, of conspiracy to falsify public documents and incite unrest.

The court ordered their arrest but said the two members of Sam Rainsy's social media team would only have to serve three years of their sentences. They are enabled to appeal to the higher court.

The case involves a posting on Sam Rainsy's Facebook account of a fake document relating to Cambodia's 1979 border treaty with Vietnam.

It was posted last year by former opposition Senator Hong Sok Hour, who is now in jail, having been sentenced on November 7 to seven years in prison for falsifying the border treaty, using the fake treaty, and inciting chaos to social security.

Earlier, on November 8, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court requested Sam Rainsy to pay a fine of 10 million riel (equivalent to 2,500 USD) and compensate 15 million riel (3,700 USD) for Som Soeun, Minister Attached to Prime Minister Hun Sen for defaming the Cambodian leader on Facebook.

Sam Rainsy has been living in exile since November 2015 to avoid serving a two-year jail sentence for defaming Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong in 2008.

On July 28, the court also fined Sam Rainsy 10 million riel (2,500 USD) and ordered him to compensate 15 million riel (3,700 USD) for defaming National Assembly President Heng Samrin.-VNA
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