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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hearing set for today in dismissed PM suit

Hearing set for today in dismissed PM suit

SAM Rainsy Party lawmaker Mu Sochua is scheduled to appear at the Court of Appeal today to contest an earlier decision to throw out her defamation lawsuit against Prime Minister Hun Sen, though the court will hear her case in absentia because she is currently travelling abroad, a party official said Monday.

SRP spokesman Yim Sovann confirmed Mu Sochua would not appear at the hearing, but said it was unimportant because the court was under the political influence of the ruling Cambodian People's Party.

"Even if she appears at the court ... the courts in Cambodia are not a justice system - they are an injustice system," he said.

"Mu Sochua's appeal is just to delay the case so that people and international [observers] can know about the court's process."

The appeal follows a June 10 ruling by the Municipal Court that threw out her defamation suit against Hun Sen in connection with comments he made during a speech in April.

Mu Sochua's case prompted the premier to file his own defamation suit against the opposition parliamentarian.

She was found guilty of defamation August 4 and ordered to pay fines and compensation of 16.5 million riels (US$3,989), bringing to an end a four-month standoff between the two politicians, but Mu Sochua has stated that she will not honour the court's ruling.

Ouk Savouth, prosecutor general of the Appeal Court, could not be reached for comment Monday.

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