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Assembly to cut Mu Sochua’s salary

THE National Assembly would deduct a portion of opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua’s salary by the end of the month and use it to pay court-ordered compensation to Prime Minister Hun Sen, officials said yesterday.

Sman Teath, a Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker and deputy president of the National Assembly’s Finance and Banking Commission, said the assembly’s Permanent Committee made the decision to dock Mu Sochua’s salary at a meeting yesterday.

“The committee has made the decision ... because the court has ordered the financial department of the assembly to dock Mu Sochua’s salary,” and the measure would start at the end of the month, Sman Teath said.

The move would mark a step forward in the court’s attempt to collect fines levied against Mu Sochua in connection with her legal dispute with the prime minister.

Last August, Phnom Penh Municipal Court convicted Mu Sochua of defaming Hun Sen and ordered her to pay him 8 million riels (US$1,886) in compensation, in addition to a fine of 8.5 million riels.

She has refused to hand over the sums, arguing that the case is both an attempt to intimidate the opposition and evidence that the judiciary lacks independence.

On Thursday, Mu Sochua called the decision to dock her salary unjust.

“Being docked by force, it is contrary to internal regulations,” she said.

“I would like to have a proper justice system for the people. I am one victim among thousands of people.”

The court has ordered the National Assembly to dock 4.2 million riels per month ($990) until the compensation is paid in full.



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