Original report from Phnom Penh
17 June 2008
Military police and police have opened up an investigation into allegations opposition Sam Rainsy Party members have been involved in violent plots against the government.
Last week, Sam Rainsy Party defector Lek Bunnhean accused opposition officials of being involved in the Cambodian Freedom Fighters, an Angkor Empire Movement, and the rocket attack on Prime Minister Hun Sen in Siem Reap in 1998.
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy said Tuesday the accusations were “unbelievable.”
“Because the election is nearly approaching, the CPP knows that Sam Rainsy has more popularity and the CPP has a problem when the people are angry with it over land disputes and the price of goods, and the people don’t believe CPP anymore,” he said.
Lek Bunnhean, who joined the ruling Cambodian People’s Party less than two weeks ago, said Tuesday he had documents implicating Sam Rainsy, Eng Chhay Ieng and former senator Thach Setha in the various plots.
Lek Bunnhean left his position after he worked in Pursat province for the Sam Rainsy Party and as a representative for SRP Secretary-General Eng Chhay Ieng.
He took the documents from a Sam Rainsy Party office in Thailand, he said, but he refused to provide copies. The documents include photographs of Sam Rainsy with jailed CFF president Chhun Yasith, he said.
Sam Rainsy said Tuesday he had met with many Cambodian expatriates at different demonstrations in Cambodia and was often photographed with people, but that didn’t mean he knew what organizations they belonged to.
Eng Chhay Ieng could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Lt. Gen. Khieu Sopheak, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, said the investigation was being conducted at the behest of “the government.”
“In this investigation, the government needs collaboration with Sam Rainsy Party defectors,” he said.
“We are doing this work,” he said, but declined to give further details.
Gen. Sao Sokha, commander of the military police, also confirmed his police were investigating, following the order of Prime Minister Hun Sen.
“Regarding the information we obtained, we must investigate with utmost care,” he said. “We must work in accordance with the law and without partiality.”