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Mu Sochua regains her immunity

More than three years after it was stripped, the immunity of opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua was restored yesterday by vote from the National Assembly’s Permanent Committee.

“It’s a new page. I’m moving on,” Sochua told the Post last night, adding that she learned of the committee’s vote in a letter signed by National Assembly President Heng Samrin.

The parliamentarian’s immunity was stripped in 2009 after she announced plans to sue the premier for making allegedly degrading comments. Prime Minister Hun Sen countersued for defamation, a case he won.

Legal experts have said the immunity should have been restored following the 2010 guilty verdict against her, but the case instead bounced around for two years before the Court of Appeal in August granted her “rehabilitation”, paving the way for the Permanent Committee vote.

“It should not have happened [in the first place],” Sochua said yesterday. “MPs should be able to represent without fear of being targeted to the point of losing his or her immunity.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Abby Seiff at abby.seiff@phnompenhpost.com

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