Police are searching for the author of dozens of leaflets distributed in three districts in Phnom Penh on Wednesday calling for a “people’s court” to prosecute Prime Minister Hun Sen for a host of alleged misdeeds, officials said.
Municipal Police Commissioner Touch Naruth said that his officers collected at least 80 leaflets from the streets in Toul Kok, Russei Keo and Chamkar Mon districts accusing the prime minister of everything from eliminating freedom of expression to several far more serious charges.
The leaflets, which were produced on a computer and unsigned, bore an emblem depicting three tiger heads, Touch Naruth said.
Kandal provincial police chief Iev Chamroeun said Wednesday that the same leaflets were distributed two weeks ago in Muk Kampul district. Contacted by reporters at the time, police in the province would not confirm that the anti-Hun Sen leaflets had been distributed.
Iev Chamroeun referred all further questions to Deputy National Police Commissioner Sok Phal.
Sok Phal said he was unaware of the leaflets.
“They want to defame the government and cause social disorder,” Touch Naruth said.
Police have launched an investigation, but have no suspects yet and are unsure what the three tiger heads symbolize, he said.
When found, the authors of the leaflet will be charged with defamation and spreading disinformation, Touch Naruth added.
Government spokesman and Information Minister Khieu Kanharith could not be contacted for comment.
Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang said the flyers were probably genuine, but police would not use the leaflets as an excuse to target SRP members, he added.
“They cannot play that game again,” Eng Chhay Eang said.
In October 2000, leaflets were distributed in Phnom Penh, allegedly by the Cambodian Freedom Fighters. The drop was followed weeks later by a foolhardy attack by lightly armed farmers-turned-CFF-fighters on the heavily defended Ministry of Defense and several other government buildings.