The Ratanakkiri Provincial Court is investigating the case against Theng Savoeun, director of the Coalition of Cambodian Farmer Community (CCFC), who has admitted to wrongdoing including “causing unrest” and “undermining public order”.

Court spokesman Keo Pisoth confirmed that the court is exploring various legal avenues in light of Savoeun’s confession.

Pisoth said the court is considering different legal conditions that differ from cases where individuals escape responsibility or refuse to acknowledge their misdeeds. The court, he added, aims to ensure a fair and just process.

In his confession letter dated May 27, Savoeun acknowledged his transgressions, admitting that he had been influenced by foreign actors and opposition politicians. He confessed to orchestrating activities aimed at causing unrest and undermining public order, with the “unintended” consequence of destabilising the government.

Promising not to engage in any further unlawful activities, Savoeun said he will refrain from political activities or efforts to “overthrow the government”. The confession letter emphasised his willingness to abide by the Ministry of Interior’s statutes, the Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organisation (LANGO) and other relevant legal provisions.

On May 17, at the request of Ratanakkiri police, authorities in neighbouring Kratie province apprehended Savoeun and 16 other CCFC members while they were en route to Phnom Penh, along with their mobile phones and 17 laptops. The next day, 14 individuals were released and had their electronic devices returned, while Savoeun, Pheap and Hach were taken to the Ratanakkiri police station for further questioning.

Deputy provincial police chief Oem Phany clarified that the arrests were made after scrutinising their statements during a press briefing held in Banlung town on May 14-15. The investigation revealed their attempt to incite farmers against government officials.