Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday heard testimony from four accused members of the Cambodian Freedom Fighters, who authorities say masterminded attacks against Funcinpec headquarters and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
During the second day of the CFF trial, the court also heard from four accused CFF members charged with bombing the Vietnamese Embassy in April and questioned them on their role in the CFF administration.
The defendants who testified Tuesday are included in a group of 20 alleged rebels on trial for terrorism and membership in an armed force in connection with the Nov 24, 2000, attack in Phnom Penh that left at least four dead, and the subsequent bombings of the government buildings.
Kea Tok, Neak Salin, Cheng Sophal and Phlong Bunthouen—defendants authorities arrested in September and October—all testified they were not directly involved in the grenade attack against Phnom Penh’s Funcinpec headquarters on April 8. They also denied involvement in the explosion at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on July 6.
Kea Tok and Neak Salin, however, said they were both involved in the CFF. Both testified CFF members identified as “72” and “03” paid them a total of $2,000 to recruit rebels and send their names to a CFF brigade in Thailand. The recruits were going to be used for the Funcinpec grenade attack, the men testified.
Instead of finding recruits, however, both men said they passed on fictional names to CFF leaders to “cheat them out of money.”
The main evidence against Kea Tok, Neak Salin and Cheng Sophal was a CFF accounting document asking for $3,000, six mobile phones and 10 sacks of rice for CFF members in Cambodia. The names of the three suspects were listed on the document.
Phlong Bunthouen, meanwhile, testified that he was set to take part in the April grenade attack against Funcinpec headquarters.
However, he was too drunk that night to carry out the grenade attack that left two men seriously wounded, he testified.
Earlier in Tuesday’s trial, the court heard testimony from Chea Sokhoeun and Khieu Radoeun, two alleged CFF members who were accused of planning the attack against the Vietnamese Embassy, and two more suspects accused of being connected to self-confessed CFF leader Chhun Yasith, who was tried in absentia in July and sentenced to serve a life sentence. Chhun Yasith currently resides in the US state of California.