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Manet Responds to Terrorism Suit

Taing Vida / Khmer Times Share:

Prime Minister Hun Sen’s eldest son Hun Manet returned from his three-week tour of the United States and Canada yesterday, hailing the trip as a success.
 
He said the US lawsuit against him and the government for allegedly committing terrorist acts is legally baseless and was purely for political gain.
 
The wife of Meach Sovannara, a member of the opposition party who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for leading riots, recently sued Mr. Manet and the government, accusing them of illegal detention, persecution of opposition party members and international terrorism.
 
The complaint also demanded that Mr. Manet take responsibility for the violence that took place near Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park in July 2014.
 
Responding to questions from reporters yesterday at Phnom Penh International Airport, Mr. Manet said he had yet to see the complaint against him and had only seen the issue reported in the media. However, he said he considered the accusations unreasonable.
 
“As for the complaint of Meach Sovannara, I had not seen the warrant there. I have heard of a few points they accused me of, including international terrorism, and I’m speechless about this,” he said.
 
“They should have accused me of something else. Millions of Cambodian people know me and see what I have done. I think they may be speechless too. I think the complaint has no reasonable grounds and it was just to draw political interest.”
 
Mr. Manet declared his three-week trip to the US and Canada a success, the warm welcome he received exceeding his expectations despite many Cambodian-American communities protesting against his presence.
 
“I don’t fully understand the reasons behind the protest,” he said. “At first, a dozen people were against me being at the parade during Khmer New Year, so I decided not to participate to avoid chaos. “Nevertheless, protests still happened against the organizers. Protesters claimed Manet is hated everywhere.
 
“I admit that people support me and are against me. But please do not forget that where we organized the events, there were more supporters compared with those who were against me.”
 
Protesters accused Mr. Manet of being part of a Cambodian dictatorship, with the president of the Cambodia-America Alliance accusing the government of human rights abuses during the visit.
 
In an email statement to Khmer Times Sunday, Mr. Manet had said that the visit was  to unite the people, bring Khmers together, irrespective of their political affiliations.

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