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Sao Sokha’s defection to KNLF fake news

Ben Sokhean / Khmer Times Share:
Military Police Commander General Sao Sokha. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The National Military Police yesterday warned that it will take legal action against those who spread fake news that its commander General Sao Sokha and other senior Royal Cambodian Armed Forces commanders have joined a terrorist organisation.

National Military Police spokesman Brigadier General Eng Hy said that military police have noted several Facebook posts alleging that Gen Sokha and other senior military police commanders have defected to the Khmer National Liberation Front led by Sam Serey.

Mr Serey was sentenced in absentia to nine years in prison for trying to topple the government in 2014. He was granted asylum in Denmark after living as a refugee in Thailand for a number of years.

In April last year, Mr Serey and his KNLF, branded a terrorist organisation by the government, were accused of plotting bomb attacks in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap province prior to Khmer New Year.

Brig Gen Hy yesterday identified one of the KNLF members spreading fake news as Som Savon.

“The National Military Police wishes to deny and condemn Facebook user Som Sovon who posted fake news to slander and instigate so as to break up the armed forces’ solidarity and unity,” he said. “The Military Police will absolutely take legal action against any individuals who commit this offence. Please, the public, be aware of this misinformation.”

Mr Sovon on Sunday alleged that Gen Sokha and deputy military police commander General Kim Bunthan defected to the KNLF.

“Today, two commanders, National Military Police commander General Sao Sokha and General Kim Bunthan, National Military Police deputy commander in charge of border affairs, defected to the Khmer government in exile led by Sam Serey,” the post said.

Chan Vatheaneak, another Facebook user, yesterday said that General Chhin Chanpor and General Nop Ratana, who are both RCAF deputy commander-in-chiefs, also defected to the KNLF.

“The Khmer National Government in exile wish to welcome them,” the post said.

Major General Chhun Hong, spokesman for the artillery headquarters led by Gen Ratana, denounced the news, saying that it was intended to cause disunity.

Mr Serey, who lives in exile in Denmark, yesterday confirmed that the news was spread by the KNLF and claimed that the defections were true.

“Yes, it is correct,” Mr Serey said. “It is the mission of the Khmer National Liberation Front and Government in exile.”

“We welcome all armed forces that support our Khmer National Government in exile in order to demand for the respect of the 1991 Paris Peace Agreement,” he said, noting he was undeterred by threatened legal action.

“We are well prepared and I am not worried at all,” he noted.

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