The Court of Appeal yesterday upheld the 18-month jail term for former senator Thak Lany over her accusation that Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered the assassination of political analyst Kem Ley.
The sentence was passed in absentia by Phnom Penh Municipal Court in November last year for defamation and incitement.
Appeal court presiding judge Plang Samnang did not elaborate on the reason for the decision.
The municipal court also issued a warrant for Ms Lany.
Her lawyer, Sam Sokong, said he and his client did not accept the appeal court verdict.
“My client denied speaking in the way described in the charge,” Mr Sokong said, adding Ms Lany would take her appeal to the Supreme Court.
Ms Lany is in Sweden, where she has been granted political asylum.
Mr Sokong said his client missed the Cambodian people and would come back if she was pardoned.
“I am disappointed that the appeal court decided this,” he said.
The municipal and appeal courts had not considered the evidence of the defendant and only considered the evidence of the plaintiff, he added.
Chhun Bun San, Ms Lany’s husband, said: “It is very unjust but I dare not talk a lot about it.”
Prime Minister Hun Sen’s lawyer Ky Tech declined to comment yesterday.
However he said during the appeal hearing that Ms Lany held a public forum at her house in Ratanakkiri province in July last year where she accused Mr Hun Sen of killing Mr Ley.
“Ms Lany knew she made a mistake, so she has escaped abroad,” Mr Tech said. “Her activity shows that she does not take responsibility for her actions.”