CNRP Councilor, British Pedophile, Bomb Plotters Lose Appeals

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Former Tbong Khmum CNRP commune councilor Kong Sam An arrives at the Supreme Court on May 4, 2022. (Hean Rangsey/VOD)

Matthew William Watkin, an English teacher who lived in Siem Reap province, lost his appeal at the Supreme Court on Wednesday for indecent assault against an underage niece.

Watkin was sentenced to two years and six months in jail in 2020 after a complaint from his Cambodian wife’s sister that he molested the woman’s 13- and 17-year-old daughters. His wife initially testified against him, but flipped during the Supreme Court appeal last month, saying she had only been feeling jealous and did not in fact see him inappropriately touching the girls.

Judge Kim Sathavy on Wednesday upheld the conviction and sentence against Watkin.

Separately, the court also ruled against the appeal of Tbong Khmum CNRP ex-commune councilor Kong Sam An for his plotting conviction in relation to taking part in gatherings to support exiled opposition leaders.

The sentencing of Sam An had been made correctly and that his claim during the appeal that he had been made to thump-print a blank paper when questioned at the provincial court had no evidence, the court said.

Sam An is serving a seven-year prison sentence.

Judge Sathavy also reject the appealof three convicted bomb plotters who had argued that an electronic device used as evidence against them was not a bomb detonator.

U Roem, Ek Amry and Chan Sarath were among six people convicted of plotting for supposedly building up an army to topple the government between 2017 and 2019.

Judge Nil Nonn, meanwhile, decided to drop charges against four Tbong Khmum residents who had been convicted of extortion. Sem Sang, 38, Sem Chamnan, 30, An Khoes, 50, and An Khoeun, 41, had been convicted over a land dispute where communal land was allegedly sold without consent.

Outside the courthouse, Sam An’s wife Eab Sour said she was disappointed by the decision against her husband, who she said was innocent. Her husband — at 69 years old — was old and ill, she added.

“[We] came to ask for help from the Supreme Court but the Supreme Court keeps reading out the same paper. Where is the justice? What will become of my husband?”

Additional reporting by Khan Leakena

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