The Appeal Court yesterday upheld prison sentences for former opposition leader Sam Rainsy and two of his assistants, along with former Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) Senator Hong Sok Hour, on charges stemming from the latter’s comments on the contentious Vietnam border issue. The ruling came the same day that the Senate approved Sok Hour’s wife, Kun Lum Ang, to take over her husband’s seat in the body.
Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered Sok Hour arrested in 2015 after a Facebook video showed him giving a lecture based on a fake 1980s treaty purportedly showing former People’s Republic of Kampuchea leader and current National Assembly President Heng Samrin pledging to dissolve the Cambodian-Vietnamese border. The arrest took place at a time of heightened political sensitivity surrounding border issues.
Rainsy and his two Facebook administrators, Sambath Satya and Ueng Chong Leang, were sentenced in absentia last December to five years in prison for posting the same clip on Rainsy’s Facebook page.
Meanwhile, Lum Ang, who previously served as the director of the CNRP’s women’s movement department, said her experience and abilities, and not her marriage to Sok Hour, made her suitable for her new position in the Senate.
The body’s spokesman, Morm Bunneang, said said he hoped that Lum Ang would not “make mistakes like her husband . . . and accuse the leaders”.