Court Investigates Video Warning of Impending Coup

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has taken up the case of a Cambodian man who took to the internet just over a week ago to warn of a pending coup d’etat.

In a video that appeared on YouTube on July 17, Som Sovannara warned military units and government ministries to be ready “to liberate the nation from Hun Sen’s dictatorial regime.”

Som Sovannara, in a screenshot from a video posted to YouTube
Som Sovannara, in a screenshot from a video posted to YouTube

On Monday, municipal court spokesman Ly Sophana said the court received the case last week.

“Deputy prosecutor Sieng Sok is working on the case. The Ministry of Interior sent it over,” he said.

The spokesman declined to comment on the progress of the case, however, and Mr. Sok could not be reached.

General Chhum Sucheat, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, which was first to pick up on the threat, said his agency would continue to investigate, alongside the court, but also declined to elaborate.

In an interview last week from abroad, Mr. Sovannara said he wanted Cambodians to “rise up” against the government but denied having plans for a coup.

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