Tiger Head leader given more jail time over prison escape

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Som Ek escaped from prison in 2016 and was caught 16 days later. KT/Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday sentenced Som Ek, leader of the Tiger Head Movement, to an additional two years in jail over his escape from prison in 2016.

Judge Seng Leang said Mr Ek, 44, was charged with escape from prison in Phnom Penh after being on the run for 16 days before being re-arrested in Siem Reap province on October 26, 2016.

“The court decided to convict and sentence him to two years in jail,” he said. “The court ordered the prison guards to take him back to prison to serve the term of his punishment.”

Judge Leang said that at about 2am on October 8, Mr Ek, who had pretended to be ill and was being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital, drugged prison guards at the hospital by putting sleeping pills in their food and drinks.

“When the prison guards were unconscious, he managed to escape from the hospital,” he said. “He fled to hide on Koulen Mountain in Siem Reap province and was re-arrested after 16 days on the run.”

Judge Leang added that after his re-arrest, he was transferred from the Siem Reap provincial jail to Prey Sar prison in Phnom Penh.

Mr Ek declined to comment on his sentence.

According to a court document, Mr Ek was on January 10, 2009, arrested in Banteay Meanchey province for planting bombs at the Cambodian-Vietnamese Friendship Monument in 2007 and at the Defence Ministry in 2009.

In 2010, the municipal court sentenced Mr Ek to 28 years in prison after finding him guilty of planting the bombs and recruiting and training terrorists.

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