The Ministry of Defence has closed an investigation into a case of fake news accusing a well-known army deputy commander of supporting the Cambodia National Rescue Movement.
The ministry began an investigation into the Facebook page Sapormean Chuman Thmey, or The New Generation News, on February 5, after it posted a story claiming that Colonel Neak Vong supported the CNRM, which the government has labelled a terrorist organisation.
Yesterday, ministry spokesman General Chhum Socheat said investigators had concluded that an individual created the fake news page and posted the false story in an attempt to divide the nation’s army.
“This was not real news and Neak Vong also rejected the allegation,” Mr Socheat said.
“Neak Vong said that somebody created that Facebook account in order to divide the army.”
“It was disinformation to break up our army,” he added. “We do not yet know who created the account, but will continue to investigate to identify the perpetrator.”
Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy recently launched the CNRM in the US, claiming the movement intended to help the dissolved CNRP join the upcoming general election.
CNRM members included Mr Rainsy; his wife Saumura Tioulong; and two former deputy presidents of the CNRP, Eang Chhay Eang and Mu Sochua.
Col Vong strongly rejected supporting the opposition movement upon the publication of the allegation, saying it was an attempt to incite and divide troops.
“Publishing this news was to incite and separate troops standing on the border line. This was psychological information that a bad person usef to incite and divide the army’s inner circle,” he said.
“My position is to be loyal to the royal government, which is led by Samdech Techo Hun Sen, loyal to the nation, and king,” he added.
“I am absolutely opposed to the Cambodia National Rescue Movement and treasonous CNRP which has been dissolved.”
Gen Socheat added yesterday that the investigators of the fake news were now turning their attention to posts being made on Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Facebook page by soldiers raising concerns over their work and land disputes.
“Those issues are also being processed to resolve with relevant institutions,” he said.