Lawyers for Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Justice Ministry and Funcinpec party yesterday filed three separate defamation lawsuits against former deputy prime minister Lu Lay Sreng, who earlier fled to Thailand knowing that court action was coming.
Mr Lay Sreng left for Thailand on Monday after Prime Minister Hun Sen and Prince Norodom Ranariddh threatened to file a defamation complaint against him.
Mr Hun Sen told about 4,000 garment workers at Koh Pich on Sunday 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 on Saturday published three recordings of Mr Lay Sreng, a former senior official of the royalist Funcinpec party, speaking to a woman named as 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.
Ky Tech, the Prime Minister’s lawyer, said the $20,000 claim had no merit.
“This is a defamation case because Mr Hun Sen never said that and I don’t know where Mr Lu Lay Sreng came up with that information,” said Mr Tech. “He does not have any evidence.”
“I requested that Phnom Penh Municipal Court charge and punish Mr Lu Sreng Sreng,” he added. “I also demand 500 million riel [about $123,805] in compensation from Mr Lu Lay Sreng for damaging the Prime Minister’s reputation.”
Ly Sophana, spokesman for the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said officials are processing the three complaints.