A government committee investigating the veracity of a petition submitted to the King by the Cambodia National Rescue Party claims to have found “many irregularities” after examining half of the more than 170,000 thumbprints on the document.
“We’ve seen some noticeable problems,” National Police deputy chief and deputy director of the committee Korng Sokhorn said yesterday at a meeting to summarise the investigation so far. “Some of the thumbprints were applied to other people’s names and there are many overlapping thumbprints.”
The CNRP delivered the petition to the Royal Palace on May 30 calling for King Norodom Sihamoni to intervene and stop what they say is the government’s use of the legal system to harass its opponents.
Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered Interior Minister Sar Kheng to investigate the document after a video surfaced online purportedly showing opposition activists forging thumbprints.
Yesterday, Sokhorn said he would not speculate on whether any legal action would follow the investigation, though a ruling party spokesman previously suggested forgery charges were possible.
The CNRP is preparing to submit a second mass petition of some 220,000 signatures to the King.
Yesterday, opposition lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang said the petition investigation was a waste of money.