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Kem Sokha summonsed to appear in court Friday

For the third time in a month, Phnom Penh Municipal Court has summonsed opposition party leader Kem Sokha for questioning – this time in connection with a complaint filed by his alleged mistress.

The summons calls for him to appear Friday, and Sokha’s lawyer said yesterday his client, once again, had no intention of going to court.

“My client is a popular politician and is being supported by a great many people, so he cannot appear as summonsed. This is election campaign time,” Chan Chen said, adding that he planned to send a letter to the court today or tomorrow asking that the questioning be delayed until after the elections.

Plaintiff Keo Sophannary — who claims she is a mistress of Kem Sokha and the mother of two children the pair adopted together — said yesterday she will appear in court for questioning. Sophannary is demanding $10,000 in support from Sokha and said she would refile her complaint should the court drop the case.

“There will be no ending, because it is the truth. I would not dare to do that,” Sophannary said.

Sokha has also been summonsed twice in a separate defemation suit filed by Khmer Rouge victims association president Chum Mey along with three other S-21 survivors over alleged statements claiming the regime's notorious security centre was “staged” by the Vietnamese. He refused to appear both times, citing election activity, while observers have said that the timing of the questioning appears aimed at tripping up his campaigning.

Sokha could not be reached for comment yesterday but has repeatedly dismissed both allegations, saying they are little more than political tactics maneuvered by the ruling party.

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