A Koh Kong Provincial Court official has accused four men arrested for allegedly planting explosives at a ferry terminal last month of belonging to the US-based, anti-government Cambodian Freedom Fighters.
“The four detained suspects confessed that they had plans to attack the government and were given orders by a commander of the CFF. They revealed the commander’s name,” Prosecutor Keo Sun said Monday. He said police are hunting for the commander and seven other men who were plotting to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Botum Sakor district police discovered the explosive, made from B-40 rockets, in Andung Teuk commune in the predawn hours of April 11 but failed to disarm the device, which was rigged to a timer. It exploded at 6.30 am, destroying a shack used as a police post. Three people were lightly injured.
Police discovered a second explosive device which they tossed into the river. It detonated harmlessly that afternoon. That night, a group of men also fired on the district police post in Andung Teuk, wounding district police Chief Kong Sokhorn in the shoulder.
Until now, provincial authorities have denied there was reason to believe the CFF was behind the attack.
An investigator for the rights group Adhoc, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Monday that there is not enough evidence to conclude the four suspects are aligned with the CFF.
“We have investigated and talked to many villagers and local authorities and there are different opinions about the four. They might be terrorists or bandits or out for revenge,” the investigator said, adding that the court has not allowed Adhoc officials to meet the suspects.
The investigator said the four suspects have a history of opposing the Hun Sen’s government in Phnom Penh, as they once belonged to the Khmer Rouge.