PM files a new defamation charge

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Mr. Sok has been sued by the prime minister. Supplied

A lawyer representing Prime Minister Hun Sen filed a complaint to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday against social and political issues monitor Kem Sok after Mr. Sok allegedly accused the ruling party of being behind the murder of political analyst Kem Ley.
 
Lawyer Ky Tech said yesterday that during a Radio Free Asia (RFA) forum on Saturday night, Mr. Sok analyzed past events and blamed the ruling CPP, saying: “The ruling party organized the death of Mr. Kem Ley.”
 
“This is the comment that led him to sue speaker Kem Sok, who is a social and political issues monitor,” Mr Tech said.
 
“I have already prepared the complaint after receiving the right from CPP President Prime Minister Hun Sen. I will submit it to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s prosecutor on Monday.”
 
Mr. Tech said it was a criminal complaint in which he requested the court to charge Mr. Sok for his comments. It would also seek compensation for damage to the CPP’s reputation, he added, without saying how much.
 
“They have used all means after the 2013 election. There were protests by citizens and a crackdown leading to shooting deaths,” said Mr. Sok during the RFA forum.
 
“Later, the citizens still protested and they used the image of dictatorship such as helicopters flying over CNRP headquarters and images such as handshakes with Mr. Sam Rainsy and Mr. Kem Sokha.
 
“All the images aimed to destroy the opposition party until they finally killed Mr. Kem Ley. They have used all means. The people get up to protest and then they use the final means which is the legal system to kill democracy through political action.”
 
However, Mr. Sok said he did not say the CPP organized the death of Mr. Ley but used the word “they” – referring to a state institution or anyone who killed Mr. Ley as a way to scare citizens from rising up in the struggle for democracy.
 
He added that his comments were made to clear citizens’ doubts about social injustice and the current political situation in Cambodia.
 
“If they actually sue me and I am convicted in court, I will be responsible for what I said. But to clear the matter, we should discuss it first. We have to check the case clearly,” he said.
 
“I heard the prime minister is the one who sued me, so please show the truth to help me relax. I used the word ‘they’ and the prime minister took it to mean himself and accused me of dishonoring him. So, please reveal the truth.”
 
On Friday Sam Rainsy, who recently resigned from his position as CNRP president, posted on his Facebook page that a US District Court in California had granted the right to subpoena the US company Chevron to release video footage of Mr. Ley’s shooting. Mr. Ley was killed on July 10 last year as he was drinking coffee at a Chevron-owned Caltex gas station in Phnom Penh.
 
Mr. Hun Sen has also sued Mr. Rainsy and opposition senator Thak Lany for accusing him of being involved in the murder of Mr. Ley.
 
Ms. Lany was sentenced to 18 months in jail and was ordered to pay Mr. Hun Sen 100 riel ($0.02) in civil compensation for defamation and incitement to cause chaos.

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