Man Charged for Facebook Threat on PM

A 28-year-old farmer arrested last week for threatening Prime Minister Hun Sen’s life on Facebook was charged by the Kompong Thom Provincial Court on Saturday with making an insult and making a death threat.

Mann Som Orn, whose grandfather is the local CPP village chief, was charged for allegedly writing “January 7 is the date of your death,” “I insult your family” and “Kompong Cham, Kompong Thom and Siem Reap provinces are my land” on Mr. Hun Sen’s Facebook page.

Mr. Som Orn was arrested on Wednesday in Kompong Thom over the threat, then transferred to Phnom Penh on Friday to be provisionally charged by the municipal court before being returned to his home province.

“On Friday night, officials brought him back from Phnom Penh and after we received him, we continued the procedures by sending him for more questioning at the provincial court on Saturday,” he said, explaining that Mr. Som Orn was then formally charged in Kompong Thom.

“For this case, we have already sent the suspect to pretrial detention at the provincial prison.”

Mr. Phalla said that Mr. Som Orn was scheduled to be brought back before Investigating Judge Seth Vannak today for additional questioning, though he declined to comment on what the court still needed to know.

“Tomorrow they will continue questioning him, but I do not have anything more to say because now this is in the hands of the court,” Mr. Phalla said.

Judge Vannak could not be reached.

Mr. Som Orn’s staunchly pro-government family held a rally on Sunday to publicly apologize for him and beg Mr. Hun Sen for forgiveness, according to his grandfather, Pech Chea, the CPP chief of Mneav village in Stung Sen City.

“This morning, about 100 people, including his relatives, neighbors and villagers who took pity on him came to my house to rally to apologize to Samdech [and ask him] to forgive him because he is too young,” said Mr. Chea.

“I don’t understand, and I still wonder why he did that. If he did do that, it’s like he used a gun to shoot himself and commit suicide. As far as I know, he’s a good person, and my whole family is CPP.”

“We want Samdech to intervene to release my grandson from prison. We promise that this will not happen again, and if it does happen again, please just kill him instead,” Mr. Chea said.

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