Wanted Cambodian-American Denies Any Wrongdoing

A Cambodian-American man wanted in Cambodia for allegedly threatening to kill the country’s leaders has defended himself online, denying any wrongdoing and calling on opposition CNRP Vice President Kem Sokha for help.

Somrithy David Yoeun, 49, is one of three Cambodians living in the U.S. who have been accused of making threats earlier this year to kill Cambodian leaders while CNRP supporters in Phnom Penh were staging protests against the disputed results of national elections the year before.

Interpol, the international police organization, has also issued arrest warrants for the three.

Local media have reported that all three are CNRP supporters.

On Friday, Mr. Yoeun took to his Facebook page to deny any wrongdoing. He called on the opposition leader to get him out of trouble, but said he did not fear arrest.

“I am not wrong,” he said. “I especially appeal to deputy president Kem Sokha, whose problems are my problems, too. So you must come to solve this problem for me.”

“I am not afraid of you arresting me,” he added, addressing Interpol and the Cambodian government. “You should arrest the Cambodian leaders, not me, because it is because of them that the forests have been cut down and the people are crying all the time.”

CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann declined to comment on Mr. Yoeun’s plea for the party’s vice president’s help.

“You should ask Mr. Sokha personally because I am the spokesman for the Cambodia National Rescue Party, not for Mr. Sokha,” he said.

Mr. Sokha could not be reached.

National Police spokesman Kirth Chantharith also declined to comment.

Last week, Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak confirmed that the government has asked both Interpol and the U.S. for help in sending the men to Cambodia to face prosecution.


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