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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Court orders Mu Sochua to appear June 2

Court orders Mu Sochua to appear June 2

THE Supreme Court has summoned opposition Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Mu Sochua to appear for a hearing on June 2, when it will make a final ruling on a defamation charge brought against her by Prime Minister Hun Sen, according to a citation issued by Chhoun Chantha, the court’s deputy general prosecutor.

In August 2009, Phnom Penh Municipal Court found Mu Sochua guilty of defamation and ordered her to pay 16.5 million riels (around US$3,975) in fines and compensation to Hun Sen, a verdict that was upheld by the Court of Appeal in October.

Mu Sochua said Thursday that she hoped the court would make a fair ruling in the case, but repeated her earlier declaration that she will refuse to pay the fine if the court upholds her guilty verdict.

“I still have hope, even though that hope is small, but I have hope for all those people who want the court system to be balanced,” she said.

“If I lose the case, it means that the court did not consider that, and it would show that [the court] has not given me justice, because I am a victim.”

She added: “My case is not about one individual, it is related to all women.”

Ky Tech, the government lawyer representing the prime minister, said he hoped the court would provide justice for his client, and warned that any ruling made by the court would be enforced by law.

“If any party loses the case and the court orders them to do something, he must follow. If anyone is sentenced to jail, he must be jailed. If anyone is ordered to pay money, he must pay money,” Ky Tech said.

“If [Mu Sochua] does not follow it, the court will take legal action.”

Hun Sen accused Mu Sochua of defamation after the outspoken lawmaker filed her own lawsuit against him, alleging that he defamed her during a speech he made in Kampot province in April 2009.

Mu Sochua’s own lawsuit was thrown out by the Court of Appeal in October.

Chhoun Chantha could not be reached for comment Thursday.

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