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One Cambodian Accountant
post Apr 16 2008, 07:50 PM
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America is home of the free the land of the brave, abundance, opportunities of all sorts. A person can realize their greatest natural inherent potential, and he/she can turn out to be the most financial secured person in the world, but when the American government is on you, you will be rendered useless in no time. It has been nice for trying though.

California accountant convicted in failed coup in Cambodia
By GREG RISLING 1 hour ago

LOS ANGELES (AP) An accountant was convicted Wednesday of orchestrating a failed attempt to overthrow the Cambodian government with a handful of rebel fighters who attacked government buildings in the country's capital in 2000.
Jurors deliberated for about two days before returning their verdict against Yasith Chhun, 52, of Long Beach.

Chhun, a U.S. citizen of Cambodian descent, was convicted of conspiracy to kill in a foreign country, conspiracy to damage or destroy property in a foreign country, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction outside the United States, and engaging in a military expedition against a nation with which the United States is at peace.

He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 8.

An e-mail message left with Chhun's attorney, Richard Callahan, was not immediately returned.

Chhun headed a group known as the Cambodian Freedom Fighters, which was opposed to the ruling party in the Southeast Asian country. The group accused Prime Minister Hun Sen of being a dictator and helping rig elections so he could stay in power.

Prosecutors said Chhun planned for two years to topple the Cambodian government. He traveled to the region to assemble a rebel force and held fundraisers at the Queen Mary, which is permanently docked in Long Beach, to raise money for the operation.
Prosecutors also believe Chhun was behind a February 1999 bombing of a bar in Cambodia that injured several people.

Dubbed "Operation Volcano," the assault was launched on Thanksgiving 2000 at the direction of Chhun, who was across the border in Thailand. Only about 200 rebel troops showed up to fight, and they were quickly subdued after attacking various government buildings in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Phen.

Three of Chhun's troops died, and several police and military officers were injured.

Some Cambodian Americans who live in Long Beach, home to the country's largest Cambodian community, said they weren't surprised by the verdict.

"People are very ambivalent about this. I don't think they support him," said Chhang Song, an adviser to the Cambodian government. "They support him only in that he was caught in a tragic situation. Nobody believed that he would be able to overthrow the government."

Chhun is among a group of so-called freedom fighters who have been arrested and charged in recent years with plotting to overthrow governments in Southeast Asia.

Last year, 11 men were arrested and accused of attempting to oust leaders of the communist government in Laos. One of the men was Vang Pao, a former general in the Royal Army of Laos who led thousands of Hmong mercenaries in a CIA-backed secret army during the Vietnam War.

During opening statements, Callahan argued that his client was trying only to bring democracy to Cambodia and that there wasn't ever an intent to kill or harm anyone.

Hun Sen had been part of the communist-backed Khmer Rouge, which ruled from 1975-79 and is accused of atrocities that resulted in the deaths of some 1.7 million people in the notorious "killing fields."

Associated Press writer Gillian Flaccus contributed to this report
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post Apr 16 2008, 08:13 PM
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oh wow... *jaw drops*
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post Apr 16 2008, 08:15 PM
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I wonder what happened to all of his 200 rebels; will they be prosecuted also or were they let lose already.
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