Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Justice ministry justifies jail terms for ex-opposition figures in plotting, incitement cases

Justice ministry justifies jail terms for ex-opposition figures in plotting, incitement cases

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Seng Theary was sentenced to six years in prison on June 14 and the Ministry of Justice's statement issued to explain the legal and factual bases for Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s decision. SUPPLIED

Justice ministry justifies jail terms for ex-opposition figures in plotting, incitement cases

The Ministry of Justice issued a statement to explain the legal and factual bases for Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s decision to sentence 42 defendants, including Cambodian-American lawyer Seng Chan Theary, to between five and eight years in prison for plotting and incitement.

The statement comes following international criticism in the aftermath of the arrest and jailing of Seng Chan Theary, also known as Seng Theary, who was sentenced to six years in prison on June 14, along with former opposition figures, such as Sam Rainsy who was hit with eight years.

In a two-page statement, the ministry underscored that the cases stemmed from what it termed an “attempted coup” led by former opposition party leader Rainsy, who it said had proclaimed that he would return to Cambodia on November 9, 2019 to “arrest” Prime Minister Hun Sen, who had been democratically elected a year earlier.

The statement said Rainsy had incited and appealed to the armed forces and civil servants as well as the general public to “rise up” against the government, and raised funds to “illegally provide” to armed forces to commit to executing the plan.

“There are clear and strong pieces of evidence for the aforementioned actions, some of which could easily be used to convict Sam Rainsy and his group of using Facebook and other social media platforms as a means to commit incitement and to serve their nefarious plan,” it said, adding that the court has compiled the results of the investigation and associated proceedings over the past three years.

It continued with a rhetorical question: “From a legal perspective, is there any country in the world that would not regard an ‘attempted coup’ or a ‘plan to violently topple the government’ as illegal, and see it instead as an exercise of freedom?”

The ministry told any involved party who may believe any of the court's decisions to be erroneous to – within the confines of the law and legal procedures – hire a team of lawyers, gather and prepare sufficient supporting evidence demonstrating why a verdict should be overturned, and file an appeal to a higher court for review.

MOST VIEWED

  • Wing Bank opens new branch in front of Orkide The Royal along Street 2004

    Wing Bank celebrates first anniversary as commercial bank with launch of brand-new branch. One year since officially launching with a commercial banking licence, Wing Bank on March 14 launched a new branch in front of Orkide The Royal along Street 2004. The launch was presided over by

  • Girl from Stung Meanchey dump now college grad living in Australia

    After finishing her foundational studies at Trinity College and earning a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Melbourne in 2022, Ron Sophy, a girl who once lived at the Stung Meanchey garbage dump and scavenged for things to sell, is now working at a private

  • Ministry orders all schools, public and private, to close for SEA Games

    From April 20 to May 18, all public and private educational institutions will be closed to maintain order and support Cambodia's hosting of the 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games, said a directive from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. Cambodia will host the

  • Wat Phnom hornbills attract tourists, locals

    Thanks to the arrival of a friendly flock of great hornbills, Hour Rithy, a former aviculturist – or raiser of birds – in Kratie province turned Phnom Penh tuk tuk driver, has seen a partial return to his former profession. He has become something of a guide

  • Almost 9K tourists see equinox sunrise at Angkor Wat

    Nearly 9,000 visitors – including 2,226 international tourists – gathered at Angkor Wat on March 21 to view the spring equinox sunrise, according to a senior official of the Siem Reap provinical tourism department. Ngov Seng Kak, director of the department, said a total of 8,726 people visited Angkor Wat to

  • Angkor Beer strengthens national pride with golden new look and fresher taste

    Angkor Beer – the "Gold of Angkor" – has a new look, one that is more stylish and carries a premium appeal, as well as a fresher taste and smoother flavour, making it the perfect choice for any gathering. Angkor Beer recently launched its new design, one