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Party co-founder petitions for drop of fraud charges

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Cambodia National Heart Party (CNHP) President Siem Pluk. FB

Party co-founder petitions for drop of fraud charges

A co-founder of the Cambodia National Heart Party, who is being held in prison on charges of fraud and forgery, has requested that Minister of Interior Sar Kheng intervene to have the charges dropped.

Siem Phluk is being held over “fraudulent party registration documents at the interior ministry” in criminal case No5199, dated December 1, 2021.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge Ly Sokha on April 27 issued a detention order for Phluk at Prey Sar Prison’s Correctional Centre 1 on two charges – fraud and using forged documents.

The offences are punishable under Articles 626, 627 and 628 of the Criminal Code.

In a letter to Sar Kheng dated July 21, Phluk said that in mid-2021 he and a number of Cambodian intellectuals with the same purpose and will had joined hands to form a political party called the Cambodia National Heart Party (CNHP).

This was to build Cambodia into a liberal, multi-party democracy, with strengthened rule of law and respect for human rights, he said.

As a founding representative, he had prepared the statute and the thumbprints of people who supported the party and submitted them to the interior ministry to have the party registered.

According to Phluk, the ministry had scrutinised the documents and found they had included substituted and low-quality fingerprints, as well as forged identities.

“I did not forge any documents or substitute any fingerprints, and I also did not intend to forge documents or fingerprints.

“In the case of [alleged] fraud, it was an unintentional mistake, a result of carelessness, not an intentional action to commit any crime, and neither did I intend to cause harm to any institution,” he said in the letter.

Phluk’s lawyer Choung Choungy told The Post on July 24 that two days prior, he had submitted his client’s letter to the ministry asking for the charges to be dropped because he had seen that Sar Kheng has a kind disposition.

Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak told The Post on July 24 that the request for Sar Kheng to drop the charges was improper, as Phluk’s case had been filed by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in accordance with legal procedure.


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