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Court moves forward with Rainsy incitement case

Taing Vida / Khmer Times Share:
Hak Seangly, Interior Minister Sar Kheng’s lawyer, leaves the municipal court. KT/Pann Rachana

Phnom Penh Municipal Court is moving forward with a case filed against former opposition leader Sam Rainsy.

Mr Rainsy, who is in exile, was summoned to appear yesterday to answer questions related to incitement allegations against Interior Minister Sar Kheng.

In a Facebook post, Mr Rainsy said there was a rift between Mr Kheng and Prime Minister Hun Sen over the death of former National Police Commissioner General Hok Lundy.

Mr Rainsy alleged that Mr Hun Sen planted a bomb onboard Gen Lundy’s helicopter, which crashed in Svay Rieng province in 2008.

The post was swiftly dismissed by Mr Kheng and a complaint against Mr Rainsy was filed in court. Mr Kheng is demanding $1 million in compensation for the allegations.

Court spokesman Kuch Kimlong yesterday said the case went forward despite Mr Rainsy’s absence.

“Mr Rainsy did not show up or asked his lawyer to defend him,” he said. “We will proceed with this case.”

Lieutenant General Dy Vichea, Gen Lundy’s son, yesterday said his lawyer is looking for a way to file a lawsuit against Mr Rainsy in France.

Ly Chantola, Lt Gen Vichea’s lawyer, yesterday said he is preparing documents and is contemplating when a lawsuit will be submitted.

“We need time to study about the laws regulating [the submission] of the lawsuit,” Mr Chantola said. “We need to gather all evidence before we can submit it.”

Sam Sokong, Mr Rainsy’s lawyer, yesterday said his client told him to ignore all summonses because of political influence over the courts.

“He believes that it’s useless to defend himself at Phnom Penh Municipal Court,” Mr Sokong said. “He will not win any lawsuit under the current political situation.”

“I have defended him in many cases, but we saw no chance of winning,” he added.

Mr Rainsy has been vowing to return to the Kingdom in order to conduct non-violent rallies for the reinstatement of the CNRP.

Last week, the National Police pledged to have Mr Rainsy arrested should he ever return.

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