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Rainsy appeal scheduled

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Opposition leader Sam Rainsy meets with United States Ambassador Carol Rodley in 2009. Photo by: Heng Chivoan

AN appeal of Sam Rainsy’s 10-year jail term for disinformation and falsifying public documents will be heard next month, as the opposition leader continues his self-exile to avoid the charges against him.

Appeal Court prosecutor Ouk Savuth has issued a summons asking Sam Rainsy to appear on May 10 in relation to the case.

In September, Sam Rainsy was found guilty of the charges by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court and sentenced in absentia to 10 years in jail, which followed a two-year jail term handed down against him by the Svay Rieng provincial court last January.

Sam Rainsy’s conviction in Svay Rieng came in connection with a 2009 protest he staged at the Kingdom’s eastern border to decry alleged Vietnamese land encroachment. Following this conviction, he published maps online and held a series of video-conferences from abroad in an attempt to vindicate his border claims, earning the new round of charges for which he was convicted in September.

Choung Choungy, Sam Rainsy’s lawyer, said yesterday that he was prepared to represent the opposition leader, but was unsure whether Sam Rainsy still wanted to pursue the case.

Government lawyer Ky Tech declined to comment at length but confirmed that he would attend the hearing next month.

Meanwhile, the verdict in a defamation case brought against Sam Rainsy by Foreign Minister Hor Namhong scheduled to be released yesterday has been pushed back to April 25, a court clerk said yesterday.

The case relates to comments Sam Rainsy made in 2008 alleging that Hor Namhong headed the Boeung Trabek prison under the Khmer Rouge.

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