Khmer Times/Pech Sotheary Friday, 17 February 2017 2173 views

PM’s second lawsuit denied

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor has denied Prime Minister Hun Sen’s request to file another lawsuit against political analyst Kim Sok.
 

Mr. Hun Sen attempted to sue Mr. Sok for a second time because he had alleged that the government had advocated for the systemic murder of analyst Kem Ley and several others.
 

The premier’s lawyer Ky Tech added that Mr. Hun Sen wanted to file a second lawsuit because Mr. Sok’s comments during his Saturday Radio Free Asia interview had badly affected the government’s reputation.
 

“Because he said that the government created a system of murder and he mentioned Chea Vichea, Sam Bunthoeun and Kem Ley. He accused the government of creating a system to kill people and that will seriously affect the government,” Mr. Tech said yesterday.
 

Mr. Hun Sen was seeking 10 million riel (about $2,500) in compensation.
 

The prime minister on Monday filed a $500,000 lawsuit against Mr. Sok, who he alleged accused the ruling CPP of orchestrating the murder of Mr. Ley.
 

Mr. Hun Sen also ordered the authorities to monitor Mr. Sok to ensure he did not flee the country.
 

Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor Sieng Sok yesterday also denied Mr. Sok’s request to delay the trial after a summons was issued for him to appear in court today.
 

Mr. Sok asked for the delay as he had been unable to find a defense lawyer to represent him.
 

“I, Sieng Sok, do not allow this request, the individual [Kim Sok] has to appear for clarification according to the date [on the summons],”
 

Mr. Sok yesterday also addressed requests by the public to create the “Kim Sok Social Fund” so the public could make donations towards his $500,000 lawsuit.
 

While he agreed to establish the fund, he insisted that it not be used for his lawsuit, but rather to help underprivileged Cambodians under the management of venerable But Buntenh and Pa Nguon Teang.
 

Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (Comfrel) executive director Koul Panha commented on the case on Facebook.
 

“The only damage political criticism has on a party is only its popularity, not its money,” he said.
 

“A political leader who is the plaintiff filing a complaint against a citizen and then asking authorities to put pressure on the defendant is a conflict of interest and misuse of power.
 

“It can impact the independence of the justice system. Such cases are not equal before the law and the justice system,” he said.

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