CPP officials expressed support Monday while opposition and rights groups condemned the new military investigation into allegations that SRP officials were involved in a series of violent plots.
Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday ordered the investigation, which was triggered by information allegedly provided by seven SRP defectors who claim that SRP was involved with the Cambodian Freedom Fighters attack of 2000, the so-called Angkor Empire Movement insurgents, and a 1998 attempt to assassinate the prime minister.
RCAF Deputy Commander-in-Chief Meas Sophea, whom Hun Sen ordered to look into the matters Sunday, confirmed Monday that he was on the case.
“I am investigating the case,” he said, but declined to say whether he has found any evidence or how long the investigation might last.
CPP National Assembly Vice President Nguon Nhel said he supported the investigation.
“SRP defectors have enough documents to link the SRP with the CFF and the Siem Reap attack,” Nguon Nhel said. “The prime minister wants a clear investigation. It is good for the people.”
There is no political pressure behind the investigation, he added.
SRP President Sam Rainsy called the inquiry an intimidation tactic.
“It is an attempt at threatening the voters,” he said. “I don’t believe that the government will make any arrests.”
SRP lawmaker Cheam Channy said he worries for his colleagues because of his previous experience being stripped of his parliamentary immunity and arrested for alleged links to a “shadow army” in 2005.
“I am concerned because the government can do what they want,” he said.
Adhoc President Thun Saray said he disapproved of the probe.
“The government should not resurrect an incident that happened 10 years ago. Why didn’t the government raise it last year?” he said.
The investigation could cause fear within opposition political parties, creating an unfair environment for the election.
“As a NGO, we are concerned that a free and fair election could be lost,” he said.