Prime Minister Hun Sen said today that three of six union leaders found guilty of instigating violence over their roles in violent protests dating back to 2013 were not involved in the violent demonstrations.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday sentenced six union leaders to two years and six months in jail, but all sentences were suspended.
Union leaders Chea Mony, Mom Nhim, Ath Thorn, Yang Sophorn and Pav Sina, and former unionist Rong Chhun were initially charged with intent to commit violence, intent to damage, threats to commit damage and obstruction of traffic.
Speaking to thousands of garment workers in Kampong Speu province’s Samrong Tong district, Mr Hun Sen said that Mr Thorn, Mr Sina and Mr Mony were not involved in the 2013 protests which turned violent at Veng Sreng street.
“I can guarantee that three people were not involved in [protests at Veng Sreng street]. They are Ath Thorn, Pav Sina and Chea Mony because I have evidence to prove that the three men were not involved,” Mr Hun Sen said.
Mr Hun Sen urged all six union leaders to appeal and that he would askCambodia Human Rights Committee chairman Keo Remy and media personality Soy Sopheap to testify that Mr Thorn, Mr Sina and Mr Mony were not involved in the violent protests.
“I would like to send a message to unions or legal experts that I do not have right to order the court, but I have requested it to Justice Minister to work on those cases,” he said.
“I ask the cases to be sped up. I do not mean that I ask the court to drop charges,” Mr Hun Sen said. “I do not have right to have their charges dropped.”