Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday sentenced a man to five years in jail, but suspended three years, for producing and posting a fake video clip showing armed Chinese nationals fighting each other in the capital last year.
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Presiding Judge Ros Piseth identified him as Ing Hum, 28, a software designer living in Chbar Ampov district.
He said Mr Hum was charged with incitement to commit felony and forgery of a public document.
“Based on the trial, the evidence and his confessions, the court has found the accused guilty,” Judge Piseth said. “Therefore, the court has decided to convict and sentence him to five years but the term of his punishment shall be reduced to only two years in jail while the remainder shall be completely suspended.”
“The court also orders him to pay four million riels [about $1,000] to put in the state’s budget,” he added.
Judge Piseth noted that Mr Hum was arrested on December 15 last year by officers from the Interior Ministry’s Anti Cyber Crime Department in Niroth commune.
He said the arrest was made after Mr Hum produced a fake video clip showing two groups of Chinese nationals fighting with each other using samurai swords in Phnom Penh and posting it on his Facebook page.
“He produced the fake video so that he could garner many likes and shares from Facebook readers and become popular,” Judge Piseth said. “But his post confused the public and also seriously impacted public order and security.”
Mr Hum declined to comment on his sentence yesterday. However, during his trial on May 22 he admitted committing the offence.
Mr Hum told the court that he produced the clip to collect many likes and shares from Facebook readers and to boost the popularity of his page.
“I produced the video to gather many likes and shares so that my Facebook page would become popular,” he told the court. “But I did not know that my photo edited clip was against the law or impacted public order and security.”