Ignoring a summons from the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, acting Cambodia National Rescue Party leader Kem Sokha yesterday failed to appear in court for questioning relating to accusations of defamation levelled against him by a group of S-21 survivors. “Today I am busy focusing on the main election issues,” Sokha said. “All these problems are not the main issue for me.”
The suit was brought against Sokha by outspoken S-21 survivor and Khmer Rouge victims’ association leader Chum Mey, along with three others.
In the suit, the four maintain that an audio recording of Sokha saying that the history of the Khmer Rouge prison was fabricated by the invading Vietnamese amounts to defamation.
Sokha has denied having made the comment, and has said that the recording – released by the government – had been doctored.
Deputy court prosecutor Meas Chanpisith declined to comment on Sokha’s absence in detail, only saying that he would have a look the case and act according to court procedure.