CAMBODIA’S MINOR OPPOSITION CHIEF JAILED FIVE YEARS FOR INCITING ARMY TO DISOBEDIENCE

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia- A Cambodian court, on Friday, convicted a minor opposition chief of inciting soldiers to disobey orders, and sentenced him to five years in prison, according to a verdict.

Sourn Serey Ratha, 44, president of the Khmer Power Party, was arrested red-handed on Aug 13, a day after he posted on his Facebook, criticising the Cambodian Prime Minister, Samdech Techo Hun Sen's decision, to dispatch troops to confront with Lao troops in a disputed border area.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court said, Ratha's comments had affected social security and security of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, and charged him with three counts: inciting military personnel to be disobedient, demoralisation of military personnel, and provocation to commit crimes.

"The court decided to sentence Sourn Serey Ratha to five years in prison, and to fine him 10 million riel (2,500 U.S. dollars)," said the verdict.

During a three-hour hearing, Ratha defended his words, saying, he just expressed his view as a politician and had no intention to insult or incite the army.

Ratha has one month to appeal against his guilty verdict.

He returned to Cambodia from self-imposed exile in the United States, after receiving a royal pardon in July, 2015, for terrorism conviction.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK