KPP’s Ratha apologises, asks PM to release him

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Former Khmer Power Party President Sourn Serey Ratha, seen in handcuffs, gets out of a police vehicle following his arrest in August of 2017. Photo supplied

Sourn Serey Ratha, the founder and former president of the Khmer Power Party, who is serving a five-year prison sentence for a Facebook post criticising Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Royal Army of Cambodia, has apologised in the hope of being released.

The apology, seeking forgiveness, was addressed to the premier and all military officers and soldiers, and was posted on Tuesday on his Facebook page.

“I would like to ask Samdech Techo [Hun Sen], the highest five-star general, to acquit me so that I can reunite with my family, take care of my old mother, my young children, and become a good father, husband and citizen,” he said.

In August last year, Ratha was sentenced to five years in prison for insulting the country’s military in his Facebook’s post.

Referring to a border skirm-ish between Cambodia and Laos, he said the conflict would only harm soldiers, while generals could safely enjoy their “money” and “girls”.

In March this year, the Supreme Court rejected his bail request. He had claimed his post did not disrupt public security or cause chaos in society.

He also based his request on the fact that both his mother and father-in-law were seriously ill while his wife had to care for their two children alone.