Dissident Group Member Denies Coup Charge at Trial

Accused coup plotter Hin Chan, 32, denied planning to overthrow the government as a member of the Khmer National Liberation Front (KNLF) during his trial at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday.

Mr. Chan was arrested a year ago and has been charged with plotting to attack the government and forging public documents in a bid to overthrow the government as part of the KNLF, 13 members of which have already been convicted.

The KNLF has announced its intentions to form a government-in-exile to challenge Prime Minister Hun Sen’s decades long rule, but denies the government’s claims that it has been training a private army across the border in Thailand.

At Monday’s trial, Judge Kor Vandy said authorities had collected ample evidence from Mr. Chan’s phone and computer to prove the prosecutor’s case against him, but the judge did not elaborate on what this evidence consisted of.

Mr. Chan said neither he nor the KNLF had any intention of staging an armed overthrow.

“If I thought the Front was creating an illegal force, I would not have joined,” he said.

His lawyer, Kin Vibol, conceded that Mr. Chan had obtained an illegal passport, but argued that it was only to find work in Thailand.

Judge Vandy said he would announce a verdict on June 6.

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