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SRP lawyer to appear at inspection panel ahead of Bar ruling

Kong Sam Onn faces accusations he acted unethically in lawsuit against PM Hun Sen.

THE lawyer of opposition Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Mu Sochua is to appear before an inspection team at the Cambodian Bar Association today, accused of violating its code of legal ethics.

Kong Sam Onn said that he received a letter from the inspection team Friday, asking him to meet the panel Monday.

"I will go to meet them as scheduled," Kong Sam Onn said Sunday. "They told me that I am accused of defaming Prime Minister Hun Sen."

Kong Sam Onn, who is representing Mu Sochua in her defamation lawsuit against Prime Minister Hun Sen, was himself accused of defamation by Hun Sen's lawyer after making comments about the case at a press conference April 23. If found guilty by the Bar, he faces possible disbarment.

Bar Association President Chiv Song Hak said he had ordered the inspection team to hand over its report of the investigation to the Bar Council by Monday, although it is not clear if the team will meet its deadline.

"As according to procedure, the Bar will look into the reports first before calling its 19 council members to make a ruling," he said.

Hun Sen's lawyer Ky Tech, who filed the complaint against Kong Sam Onn, said he had not received any information about the current investigation and was waiting to see the decision.

Mu Sochua is suing Hun Sen for comments he made during a speech in Kampot on April 4, which she says refers to her as cheung klang, a phrase that translates as "strong legs".

Mu Sochua says the term has derogatory connotations when applied to women. In response, Hun Sen is countersuing Mu Sochua for defamation, claiming his comments did not refer to her.

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