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CNRP leader Sam Rainsy speaks to opposition supporters in France earlier this week. Facebook
CNRP leader Sam Rainsy speaks to opposition supporters in France earlier this week. Facebook

Rainsy targets PM on day before Sokha trial

Exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy yesterday renewed controversial claims that Prime Minister Hun Sen’s family was responsible for the 1999 murder of his alleged mistress, on the eve of opposition deputy Kem Sokha’s trial over charges linked to a case of alleged prostitution.

Rainsy said his Facebook post – titled “Hun Sen’s family behind the murder of Piseth Pelika” – was intended to point out double standards for politicians and their mistresses; while the Huns had ostensibly got away with the murder of the popular actress, he said, Sokha was being hounded by the courts.

Quoting from Pelika’s purported diary a month before her death, the post read: “I don’t know whether they would spare my life or sentence me to death because they rule over the country. Only God can help me.”

Rainsy defended his decision to publish the extract – which was widely publicised at the time of her murder – a day before his deputy’s trial.

“We must never be afraid of the truth. The truth must always be welcomed, at any time, in all circumstances,” he said.

Government spokesperson Phay Siphan said the allegations were meaningless.

“He’s out of his mind,” Siphan said. “When Kem Ley was slain, they accused Hun Sen, too. [Rainsy] has repeated the same song for a long time.”

Political analyst Ou Virak said that although the move was risky, it was a convenient time for the opposition to point out that members of the ruling party had skeletons in their closets.

“This is an old wound,” Virak said. “It is quite effective because the comparison is quite obvious to the Khmer public.”

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