Confessor Says He Only Thought It Was Rainsy Mentioned

The man who confessed on television to being part of a plot to throw a grenade at an opposition sit-in said Thursday his co-conspirators never said they were from the Sam Rainsy Party, but he assumed they were because they spoke of ousting Second Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Meanwhile, the Sam Rainsy Party accused the confessor, Khem Khorn, of having worked for Municipal Police official Mok Chito under a different name.

In an interview Thursday, Khem Khorn said he and four other men were hired in Kom­pong Cham to throw grenades into the crowd across from the National Assembly.

“Those accomplices did not identify themselves as Sam Rainsy’s supporters, but they did say that they want to force the second prime minister to step down,” he said. “They said that when the grenades go off, people will assume that it must be the second prime minister behind the attack.”

Mok Chito, former chief of penal police and now assigned to the department on foreigners, appeared with Khem Khorn during his televised confession Wednesday night.

“Based on our documents and the confession, and from our sources in Sam Rainsy Party, we are able to make an evaluation that this grenade case is very much related to the Sam Rainsy Party,” Mok Chito said Thurs­day.

“I think now a number of politicians are using ordinary people as their tool to get popularity,” he said. “They like to see people bleeding very much.”

But Sam Rainsy Party officials  said

Thurs­­­day Khem Khorn was actually a former policeman who worked for Mok Chito under a different name.

The party produced two photo identification cards with a man who appeared to be Khem Khorn, albeit thinner. Both cards carried the name Pao Makara, and one identified him as a policeman. However, none of the documents linked the man to Mok Chito.

In Thursday’s interview, Khem Khorn denied he had ever been a police officer.

Mok Chito said Thursday that Khem Khorn had worked for the police, but not under him. “This man used to work with [Chief of Anti-Drug Police] Heng Peo, but he quit a long time ago. He never worked with me at all.”

Sam Rainsy himself has dismissed Khem Khorn’s allegations, saying, “This is not the first time they have had people confess to try to frame me.”

In 1996, a group of men confessed on television to being “underground Khmer Rouge” and said they were en­couraged by Sam Rainsy to commit acts of terrorism in the capital.

Last year, Sam Rainsy’s former security chief confessed that he ordered the murder of Hun Sen’s brother-in-law and said Sam Rainsy told him to do so. Srun Vong Vannak later recanted his confession, saying police tortured and threatened him into making it. He is now serving a 30-year sentence.




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