The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has issued yet another summons for Sam Rainsy, demanding the opposition leader appear at court to face questioning over a new incitement case.
Adding to the lengthy list of lawsuits levelled against the Cambodia National Rescue Party president, the case alleges Rainsy committed “incitement” and caused “social turmoil” on September 11, according to a letter sent by Phnom Penh deputy prosecutor Sieng Sok on October 6.
On that day, the CNRP president, who remains in self-imposed exile abroad to avoid arrest, addressed youth activists gathered at the party’s Phnom Penh headquarters via Skype. Rainsy asked the group whether they were ready to join a “mass demonstration”, which the party had vowed to hold in response to the slew of legal cases against its members.
The letter, delivered to the CNRP by members of the Interior Ministry’s anti-terrorism department, does not, however, detail the offence, only demanding Rainsy appear for questioning on October 21.
Director of the anti-terrorism department Y Sok Khy refused to elaborate on the alleged incitement.
“If I tell you, it will make things difficult, because the case is in the process of implementation,” Khy said.
Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak also declined to comment, referring questions to court officials, who could not be reached yesterday.
Rainsy is currently facing fines and jail time relating to two court cases – including a long dormant two-year prison sentence for defaming former foreign minister Hor Namhong, which was resurrected last November, prompting him to flee – and has yet to be tried in another four.
Reached yesterday via email, Rainsy said he was unaware of what the new case related to, but dismissed it as another “political” case to disqualify him from the elections process.
“I don’t have the slightest idea about this new charge but it must be as groundless and as ludicrous as the previous ones,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a separate case against an opposition member, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court has set October 28 as the trial date for opposition Senator Thak Lany, who is accused of defaming Prime Minister Hun Sen by allegedly linking him to the murder of political analyst Kem Ley, a charge she denies.
In still another case pertaining to the opposition, an investigating judge on Friday summonsed the head of rights group Adhoc, Thun Saray, to answer questions on October 24 about an alleged bribe given to the purported mistress of CNRP deputy president Kem Sokha by four members of his organisation and an election official. The case has been widely slammed as politically motivated.