The spokesman of the Justice Ministry today said that the planned return of former CNRP leader is tantamount to a coup by an illegal group attempting to topple the government, which is a serious crime that affects national security.
A press release dated September 20 said the ministry has carefully examined and analysed the planned return of former CNRP leaders issued on September 15, noting that the group aimed to topple the government through incitement of hatred among people and armed forces under the image of a violent movement.
Last week, exiled former CNRP leaders announced a budget to support soldiers who defect from the government and ensure safe passage for Mr Rainsy upon his return to the Kingdom in November.
In the statement, the ministry spokesman Chin Malin pointed out that the planned return is not for the sake of democracy and human rights as the group claimed but is an act to cause serious crime, which affects the security at large.
“The plan to overthrow the Royal Government of Cambodia is a serious crime punishable under Articles 451 and 452 of the Penal Code, which carries a prison sentence of 15 to 30 years, and that if the perpetrator is a public servant, the sentencing must be life-time imprisonment,” he said.
Mr Malin noted that any person involved in this plan shall be guilty of ”conspiring”, punished under Article 453 of the Penal Code; carries a sentence of between five and 10 years, and 10 to 20 years if the perpetrator is a public servant.
In its statement, the ministry also requested all relevant authorities to take immediate action on crimes against national security in order to maintain peace, stability, and prosperity of the country and happiness of people.
It also urged people not to fall into the deceptive acts of criminals and to participate in fighting the above crimes by reporting to all competent authorities.