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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mu Sochua battles PM in filings

Mu Sochua battles PM in filings

Details of Hun Sen's countersuit emerge.

AS the pretrial exchange of barbs between Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Mu Sochua and Prime Minister Hun Sen escalates, the details of Hun Sen's countersuit for defamation have emerged. 

Responding to a lawsuit lodged by the SRP parliamentarian for Kampot, Mu Sochua, government lawyer Ky Tech, representing Hun Sen, filed a countersuit. Ky Tech claims he might seek as much as 10 million riels  (US$2,427) in damages from Mu Sochua and other, unspecified

involved persons for the defamation of his client in the press conference last Thursday.

Ky Tech said he was confident, "as his attorney, if I thought I wasn't going to win this case, I would not file a complaint".

Independence the only hurdle

Mu Sochua said Tuesday that as long as the court remained independent, and the judging neutral and fair, she would win her case.

Mu Sochua is seeking only a symbolic 500 riels as compensation for Hun Sen's comments of April 4. She pointed out that because this case involves a head of government, the government must refrain from pressuring the courts. Asserting she was willing to face suspension of her parliamentary immunity for the case, she said "I would like the court to ... follow the law.  [Hun Sen] always said whoever has high rank must be equal in the face of the law."

Executive director of the Centre for Social Development, Theary Seng, said that the case should not even reach the court as "politicians take the court as the tool and it renders the court worthless. They should resolve their case out of the court".

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