Rainsy arrest warrant meeting held

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
CNRP officials, including ‘acting president’ Sam Rainsy (centre). SAM RAINSY’s official FACEBOOK PAGE

National Police chief Neth Savoeun and the Commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) Vong Pisen led a meeting on Thursday to prepare police forces to execute an arrest warrant for Sam Rainsy if he returns to Cambodia as he has claimed he would.

Speaking to The Post on Thursday, National Police spokesperson Chhay Kim Khoeun said: “In this morning’s meeting we discussed preparing a plan to execute arrest warrants for outlawed rebels who announced they will return.

“We don’t care when they return because we have a plan, they can come at any time. If they don’t come, it’s their concern. But whenever they come, we will execute the plan. Our plan is flexible.

“It remains a mystery and we cannot tell what will happen. We just say the plan will be executed according to the arrest warrants to the best of our ability, using all our might and means.

In March, Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge Koy Sao issued warrants ordering police forces to arrest eight former senior officials of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).

The eight charged people were CNRP “acting president” Rainsy, vice-presidents Mu Sochua and Eng Chhai Eang, and former lawmakers Long Ry, Men Sothavarin, Ou Chanrith, Tok Vanchan and Ho Vann.

Sao charged the eight – all of whom currently live abroad – with plotting and incitement to commit crime.

The warrants were issued after the CNRP permanent committee held a meeting in January in Lowell, Massachusetts in the US to prepare for Rainsy’s return, including collecting money and creating a network to welcome him back.

Recently, six EU lawmakers announced that they would escort Rainsy and other former CNRP leaders to Cambodia.

Kim Khoeun said that although the EU lawmakers had announced their intention to escort the CNRP officials, the truth was unclear.

“If they come as individuals and are allowed to enter the country, they are not under the power of the Cambodian courts.

“But if they come to take action against Cambodian courts, that means it is against Cambodian law and we will take legal measures.

“I have already issued a statement to the public that people should not be influenced by the incitement of these groups, because support for the rebels constitutes an illegal act against the power of the courts. And if it’s unlawful, the law will treat them according to legal procedure,” he said.

Sochua said on Thursday that the CNRP had been dissolved unconstitutionally.

“We will not be deterred by the clear threat of arrest. Hun Sen will force the EU to completely withdraw Cambodia’s chance to benefit from the EBA [Everything But Arms agreement].

“National not personal interests must always be protected. How many more times do the National Police need to discuss our arrest?

“Just follow Hun Sen’s orders when we arrive. All these discussions are just a public threat to dissuade thousands of people from welcoming our upcoming return,” she said.