Interior Minister Sar Kheng yesterday said that his lawsuit against former opposition Sam Rainsy is the first-ever to be filed by him against any one and is aimed at urging all politicians to strictly follow the political code of conduct.
Mr Kheng filed the lawsuit against Mr Rainsy in Phnom Penh Municipal Court on July 2, accusing him of incitement to cause felony, after the latter posted a false accusation on his Facebook page.
Mr Rainsy claimed that Mr Kheng was supporting Lieutenant General Dy Vichea, 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 on board Gen Lundy’s helicopter which crashed in Svay Rieng province. He also claimed that Mr Kheng supported Lt Gen Vichea’s revenge plot because Mr Hun Sen 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.
In his complaint, Mr Kheng also demanded $1 million in damages from Mr Rainsy.
Mr Kheng yesterday rejected the accusation and said his lawsuit against Mr Rainsy is the first one he has filed in his life.
“I wish to inform the public and all my countrymen that so far in my life I have never filed any lawsuits or was involved in a court case with anyone,” Mr Kheng said. “This is the first complaint that I decided to file against Sam Rainsy.”
Mr Kheng said he does not want to file a lawsuit against anyone but he did so against Mr Rainsy because he wants all politicians to respect the political code of conduct.
He said that his decision to file the complaint was to remind some politicians to follow the code of conduct and avoid creating slanderous fake news, aimed at causing disunity among ruling party leaders, for political mileage.
“This complaint is also in order to demand justice for me and other victims who were slandered and accused by Sam Rainsy,” Mr Kheng added.
He appealed to all politicians in the Kingdom to defend national interests rather than their personal ones.
In response to the complaint Mr Rainsy yesterday wrote on Twitter that Mr Kheng should file the lawsuit against him in France and not in Phnom Penh.
“It would be more transparent and more courageous on the part of Sar Kheng to file his ‘defamation’ lawsuit against me before a tribunal in France, the country where I am now living and from where I regularly issue my opinion,” he said.
Last month, Lt Gen Vichea said that he would file a lawsuit against Mr Rainsy over the accusation that he planned to take revenge against Mr Hun Sen over his father’s death in 2008.
He said his father’s helicopter got into an accident due to poor weather conditions and that Mr Rainsy took advantage of the story in order to use it to serve his political ambitions and divide government officials.
Mr Hun Sen, during a graduation ceremony in Phnom Penh last month, challenged Mr Rainsy to swear on the lives of his family over the accusation that he caused Gen Lundy’s death.
The government last month announced it was preparing to file two lawsuits in France against Mr Rainsy over his accusation regarding the downing of the helicopter.