CFF Suspects Say Police Coerced Confessions

8 Suspects Testify on Third Day of Trial

Authorities gave false testimony or beat confessions from suspected members of the Cambo­dian Freedom Fighters in their custody, eight defendants said Wednesday as the CFF trial closed its third day at Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

The first four defendants—Sok Nhon, Mei Sam Oeun, Suos Sok­roeun and Ek Chan Y—each testified the confessions the court read were incorrect or false.

Soy Kiri, another alleged CFF member who testified Wednes­day, said military police hit him in the face twice and kicked him in the leg while questioning him about his alleged involvement in the US-based rebel group.

The accusations of police brutality and intimidation continued later in the trial when the court tried David Chan, Oung Chan­dara and Sry Sreng. The court read signed confessions from each of the suspects that said they were high-ranking CFF members.

Each suspect denied the confessions were true and said military police either intimidated them or beat them into confessing.

The unidentified police officer who Soy Kiri accused of beating him denied the accusations after the courts called him to explain himself to the court.

The eight defendants, part of a group of 20 alleged CFF members on trial for the Nov 24, 2000, attack in Phnom Penh and four subsequent bombings in the capital, all denied involvement in the November coup attempt that left at least four people dead.

They also denied being part of attacks on Phnom Penh’s Fun­cinpec headquarters, the Vietna­mese Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Internation­al Cooperation.

Judge Sok Sethamony, however, heard the court read signed confessions from each alleged CFF member during the day-long testimony.

Each confession implicated the accused, stating the man was either a CFF member or associated with CFF leaders based in Thailand or the US.

Authorities arrested Soy Kiri, who is accused of accepting money from high-ranking CFF members on Sept 23.

The money allegedly was to be used for a grenade attack against what authorities called the “economic institute,” in Russei Keo district.

So far, the court has questioned 18 of the 20 alleged CFF members. The last two, Cambodian-American Sao Gilbert and Sok Thy, are scheduled to testify today.

 

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