Justice Minister has ordered the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to legal actions against former opposition leader Sam Rainsy for accusing King Norodom Sihamoni of issuing a letter under duress to the public in which he urged people to vote in the upcoming election.
Minister Ang Vong Vathana on Friday ordered a prosecutor at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to take legal measures against Mr Rainsy who was accused of defaming the King, according to Ministry spokesman Kim Santepheap.
“His Excellency Minister [Ang Vong Vathana] ordered a prosecutor at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to take legal action against Mr Sam Rainsy for insulting the King,” Mr Sentepheap said “He violated the constitution and seriously insulted the King.”
Mr Santepheap noted that Mr Rainsy will be prosecuted according to a recently passed amendment that has criminalised insulting the King, for which those found guilty face one to five years in jail with a hefty fine.
Mr Rainsy took to Facebook on Thursday, claiming that the King either issued the letter under duress or that it was fake.
The Ministry of Royal Palace on Friday flatly denied any accusations that the King’s letter dated May 18 was fake.
“The Ministry of Royal Palace would like to announce to the public that the King’s letter is authentic and not under duress,” the statement read.