Sixth Suspect Charged in Bomb Investigation

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has charged a sixth man in connection with the so-called Tiger Head Movement and the Jan 2 planting of two small explosive devices in the capital.

Police arrested Chea Kimyan, a staff member of an infantry unit at the Defense Ministry, on Feb 17

in Phnom Penh, said national pol-ice spokesman Keat Chantharith.

Police said Chea Kimyan is the brother of Som Ek, the first of the six arrested after he reportedly confessed to planting the small bombs outside the Defense Ministry as well as planning the failed bombing of the Cambodia-Vietnam Friend-ship Monument in July 2007.

The government has placed blame for the incident on the so-called Tiger Head Movement, which the government claims is an anti-government group unheard of until after the failed bombing.

Nothing else is known of the group, and members of the opposition have questioned the very existence of the so-called movement.

“Chea Kimyan is the brother of Som Ek, and I know he is the sixth suspect involved in the bomb plot,” Keat Chantharith said Monday. He added that Chea Kimyan provided funding for Som Ek to plant the devices.

“He told police that he paid for this action,” Keat Chantharith said.

Municipal Court Deputy Pros-ecutor Hing Bun Chea said the suspect is being held at PJ prison and first appeared in court Friday. The date of his next court appearance has not yet been determined.

National Military Police Com-mander Sao Sokha declined to comment, saying he was too busy to speak with a reporter, and De-fense Ministry Secretary of State Neang Phat said he was unaware of the arrest.

Mathieu Pellerin, a consultant for local rights group Licadho, said his organization has detected “some worrying signs” about the case, as authorities have kept the suspects and other details under wraps.

“Their access in prison has been denied to us since their arrest,” Pellerin said Monday. “We don’t see that as being a very good sign,” he said.

    (Additional reporting by Frank Radosevich)


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