Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday convicted and sentenced a man to three years in prison with a fine of $1,250 for insulting the King on Facebook.
Judge Theam Chanpisethm identified the man as Eang Chulsar, a 26-year-old chicken vendor from Chamkar Mon district.
“Based on the evidence, as well as the confession of the accused, the court finds the accused guilty,” Judge Chanpiseth said. “Therefore, the court has decided to sentence him to three years in prison and orders him to pay $1,250 to be put in the state’s coffer.”
Judge Chanpiseth said Mr Chulsar was charged with insulting the King and issuing a death threat.
Major Sok Borin, an officer with the Interior Ministry’s anti-cyber crime department, said on June 13, 2018, Mr Chulsar posted photos of King Norodom Sihanouk and Queen Mother Monireath Sihamoni.
Maj Borin said it was the caption Mr Chulsar wrote that got him arrested.
“He wrote ‘Take drugs. I want to kill him because he is useless. A dog King. He knows nothing. It would be better if he was dead’,” he said.
Maj Borin added that Mr Chulsar’s message was then condemned by Facebook users.
“He posted the photos of the King and the Queen on his Facebook page,” he said. “He also wrote that he threatened to kill the King.”
Police managed to apprehend Mr Chulsor at his home in Boeng Keng Kang Pi commune on June 15, 2018.
During his questioning, Mr Chulsar admitted to the offence and sought a royal pardon.
During his trial on December 18, Mr Chulsa confessed that he was on drugs at the time when he posted the photos, along with the caption, on Facebook.
“On that day, I wrote a message insulting the King and posted it on Facebook,” Mr Chulsar said. “I was smoking crystal meth and I became nervous because of the drugs.”
“I now regret my mistakes. I would like to ask for a pardon from His Majesty the King and Queen Mother,” he added. “I promise that I will not use drugs again and I promise not to repeat the offence.”