Interior Minister Sar Kheng has filed a lawsuit against former opposition leader Sam Rainsy at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court accusing him of incitement to commit felony.
The July 2 lawsuit, a copy of which was obtained on Saturday, was over a Facebook post by Mr Rainsy which claimed that Mr Kheng was supporting Lieutenant General Dy Vichea, the director of the Interior Ministry’s security central department, to take revenge against Prime Minister Hun Sen over the 2008 death of his father, former National Police Commissioner General Hok Lundy.
Mr Rainsy alleged in the June 2 post that Mr Hun Sen planted a bomb onboard Gen Lundy’s helicopter which crashed in Svay Rieng province.
Mr Rainsy claimed that Mr Kheng supported Lt Gen Vichea’s revenge plot because the Prime Minister was planning to appoint one of his sons to replace him as Interior Minister.
“It is fiction by Sam Rainsy aimed at causing tension among top leaders to destroy unity and create internal conflicts within the government,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit, signed by three lawyers representing Mr Kheng, noted that based on his action, Mr Rainsy harboured intentions to incite and break the internal solidarity of the government’s leaders and cause chaos which would destroy political stability and peace.
Mr Kheng requested the court to take action against Mr Rainsy according to the law and demanded $1 million in compensation from him.
Kuch Kimlong, municipal court spokesman, yesterday confirmed that they received the complaint from Mr Kheng’s lawyers on July 2.
“Now we will continue with the procedure of this case based on the law,” Mr Kimlong said.
“The municipal court will summon the plaintiff and relevant people soon for questioning on this case,” he added, noting that the case had been sent to a deputy prosecutor for review.
Hak Seakly, one of Mr Kheng’s lawyers, yesterday said that Mr Kheng asked him and the other two lawyers to represent him and file a complaint against Mr Rainsy for incitement to commit felony.
“Now, the other two lawyers and I are waiting to be summoned by the municipal court to address the accusation Mr Rainsy made against my client,” he said. “I think the court has to find justice and clear my client’s name because of Mr Rainsy’s false claim.”
Last month, Lt Gen Vichea said he will file a complaint against Mr Rainsy through his lawyer over the Facebook post.
“Regarding this problem, I will file a complaint, for sure,” he said. “I have told my lawyer to study and to prepare relevant documents.”