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Ex-deputy PM faces defamation claims

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times Share:
Lu Lay Sreng. Supplied

Prime Minister Hun Sen and Funcinpec party president Prince Norodom Ranariddh say they will file complaints against former deputy prime minister Lu Lay Sreng for defamation.

Mr Hun Sen told about 4,000 garment workers at Koh Pich yesterday that Mr Lay Sreng insulted the King by comparing him to a castrated rooster.

“He insulted the King by comparing him to a capon,” Mr Hun Sen said.

“It is a very serious insult.”

Mr Lay Sreng’s comments were carried in a voice recording on the notorious “Seyha” Facebook page, which is often behind such leaks.

Fresh News published three recordings on Saturday of Mr Lay Sreng, a former senior official of the royalist Funcinpec party, speaking to an individual called Ky Lum Ang.

Mr Hun Sen said Mr Lay Sreng defamed him by saying he would provide $20,000 to each Funcinpec party official who was prepared to enter the National Assembly after the CNRP was dissolved. He also allegedly described Prince Ranariddh as a bad prince.

“I will file a complaint against Lu Lay Sreng for defamation,” the Prime Minister said.

“Prince Norodom Ranariddh will sue him over two cases. Mr Lay Sreng defamed him and defamed the King.”

The Prime Minister said Mr Lay Sreng’s voice was clear on the recording, adding that Mr Lay Sreng had apologised but could not be forgiven.

“He was very rude,” Mr Hun Sen said.

Mr Lay Sreng issued a video clip on his Facebook page on Saturday to apologise for using words that affected King Norodom Sihamoni and Prince Ranariddh.

He said many Facebook pages accused him of looking down on the King.

“I used some words but I did not intend to insult the King,” Mr Lay Sreng said.

“I apologise to all compatriots, especially the Prime Minister and the King. I don’t have any political leanings.”

Mr Lay Sreng asked that Ms Lum Ang not be blamed over the case because she had only listened to what he said.

“I recognise that I used some inappropriate words,” he said.

After the Seyha page leaked the conversation, another was published of Ms Lum Ang urging Mr Lay Sreng to issue a video apology to Mr Hun Sen and the King.

Funcipec spokesman Nhep Bunchin said Mr Lay Sreng insulted the King and defamed Prince Ranariddh.

Mr Bunchin said Mr Lay Sreng had insulted Funcinpec many times.

“We are preparing a complaint and we will file it to the court soon,” Mr Bunchin said.

Mr Lay Sreng could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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