Cambodian PM says US behind opposition leader in conspiracy

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Phnom Penh, Sep 3 (IANS) Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen on Sunday accused the US of master-minding an anti-government plot by Cambodian main opposition leader Kem Sokha, the media reported.

Sokha, President of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), was arrested early on Sunday at his home in Phnom Penh and sent to a prison in Tboung Khmum province, about 150 km from here.

“It is the United States. The act of treason by conspiring with foreign country, betraying his own nation, requires immediate arrest,” Xinhua news quoted the Prime Minister as saying.

Hun Sen said Sokha’s arrest would not affect the national election, which is scheduled on July 29, next year, and called on the people to keep calm and let the court proceed with the case, government-aligned media Fresh News reported.

The arrest was made just hours after an old video clip broadcast by Australia-based CBN (Cambodian Broadcasting Network) was posted on Facebook showing Kem Sokha speaking with his supporters in Australia on December 8, 2013.

Sokha told his supporters that he followed the order of the US to prepare an anti-Cambodian government plot, taking the model of the strategy that had been used to topple the governments of Yugoslavia and Serbia.

The government said the video clip and other evidence collected by authorities clearly indicated the conspiracy between Sokha and his accomplices with a foreign power, which harms Cambodia.

Sokha is facing charges of treason and espionage under article 443 of the country’s Criminal Code, a government statement said.

In its statement on Sunday, the CNRP vehemently condemned Sokha’s arrest, saying that it “is politically motivated and violates law and constitution” because Sokha is a lawmaker who has parliamentary immunity.

–IANS

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