Investigation Opens Over Leaflets Urging Coup

Interior Ministry spokesman General Khieu Sopheak said Sunday that authorities had begun investigating the distribution of a small number of Cambo­dian Free­dom Fighters leaflets that urged the overthrow of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government.

But Khieu Sopheak downplayed the significance of the leaflets, which he said were found in Tuol Kok district. “I didn’t see them, because I don’t care about that. It’s not a problem.”

He said he did not expect any arrests to be made in the investigation that began Friday. “We don’t care about CFF again, because they are not strong,” he said.

Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema confirmed that a CFF investigation is under way, but he said the leaflets numbered only 22 and appeared to be the same ones as distributed at the time of the 2000 coup attempt, which the government has pinned on the CFF.

“I think it is not a threat, but we are still very careful about this. A handful of bad people intended to make disturbances, like intending to overthrow the government,” Kep Chuktema said.

Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian Son Chhay said Sunday he heard of the investigation on Friday, but he dismissed the story. “We have hard evidence saying that the CFF was aided by the CPP,” he said. Son Chhay called the CFF investigation “just another kind of excuse for the CPP to arrest innocent people.”

The alleged coup attempt, in which about 60 gunmen fired on the ministries of Rural De­vel­opment and Defense, was quick­ly suppressed. Four were killed.

Chhun Yasith, an accountant in Long Beach in the US state of California, sent an e-mail to The Cambodia Daily in June promising another insurrection if the upcoming elections are fraudulent.


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