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Rainsy says treason allegation is a farce

Khuon Narim / Khmer Times Share:
Sam Rainsy and Prime Minister Hun Sen take a selfie in 2015. Facebook

Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy has criticized the Cambodian judicial system, claiming it is under the control of the ruling CPP in the wake of a summons being issued for him to appear for questioning over treason allegations.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court last week summoned Mr Rainsy to appear at the court for questioning in May after he was accused of agreeing to cede four northeastern provinces to Vietnam’s Montagnards if he won the 2013 election.

Mr Rainsy said in the tweet on Saturday that the court summons was useless because it was under the influence of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

“When it comes to politics Cambodia’s subservient court has been already so much decried and ridiculed that any additional charge they levy against me becomes meaningless,” Mr Rainsy said in his tweet. “This judicial farce only shows Hun Sen…trying to further and further discard me from the electoral process.”

The warrant signed by deputy prosecutor Sieng Sok summoned Mr Rainsy to appear at the court on May 7 “to clarify the case of signing an agreement dated on April, 14, 2013 with Kok Ksor regarding the cession of four provinces to indigenous Degar”.

The case stems from a leaked video on Facebook within a post that included documents dated April, 12, 2013 and bearing the signatures of Mr Rainsy and that of Mr Ksor, head of a Montagnard association in the US.

Montagnard is a French term referring to a Vietnamese hill tribe, also known as Degar, most of whom are from Christian ethnic minority groups residing in the Vietnam Central Highlands.

Mr Rainsy has lived in exile since 2015 after being hit with slew of court cases, including by Mr Hun Sen who accused him of defamation.

Mr Rainsy stepped down as leader of the CNRP in February 2017 because of his criminal history.

Afterwards, Kem Sokha took over as party leader, but he has since been jailed on treason charges for allegedly conspiring with a foreign power to overthrow the government through a colour revolution. The CNRP was then dissolved in November by the Supreme Court.

Kim Santepheap, spokesman for the Justice Ministry, said that Mr Rainsy was a convict whose comments carried no weight within the country.

“He likes committing unlawful acts and he does not respect the court,” Mr Santepheap said.

Sok Eysan, spokesman for the ruling CPP, said that Mr Rainsy created his own problems.

“When an election is approaching, he always provokes problems, so he must be responsible for himself,” Mr Eysan said.

“The treason case is real because he signed an agreement to cede land to foreigners and it has seriously affected national interests.”

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