Rainsy Says Thais Charge Office Chief

Sar Sophorn, the head of the Sam Rainsy Party’s Bangkok office, will be charged with sheltering a suspect in last year’s Siem Reap rocket attack, Sam Rainsy said Monday.

Sar Sophorn was taken into custody last week to be questioned on his relationship with Sok Yoeun, who has been fingered by Phnom Penh of involvement in the rocket attack.

Now Thai authorities have decided to charge him for sheltering an illegal immigrant and he is scheduled to appear in court on Jan 12, Sam Rainsy said by telephone from Paris. Bail for Sar Sophorn is about $2,666.

The Sam Rainsy Party is asking for donations to help pay for the legal fees of Sok Yoeun and Sar Sophorn, both of whom are being held in Bangkok.

Sok Yoeun was sentenced last week to six months in prison for illegally entering Thailand. He was the dean of Sam Rainsy activists in Battambang province.

Ung Bun-Ang, president of the Sam Rainsy Party in Australia and New Zealand, issued the appeal for donations on the Internet newsgroup camnews.                         “It is absolutely not an exaggeration to suggest that the extradition of Sok Yoeun and/or Sar Sophorn will be in effect, a death sentence for them,” Ung Bun-Ang says in the appeal.

Sok Yoeun fled to Thailand because he faced possible charges of attempted assassination in connection with the rocket attack. The prison sentence temporarily blocks extradition attempts by Cambodian authorities.

Meanwhile, Sam Rainsy said in a statement issued for New Year that Cambodians must stop blaming karma or relying on fortune tellers to determine their future, but to make their own karma and own fortune.

“When a Cambodian child dies of a most common infantile disease, we should stop blaming his or his parents’ karma, but we must instead demand a reallocation of public funds in the national budget,” said Sam Rainsy, who is in Paris.



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