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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Summons mooted

Summons mooted

PRESSURE is mounting on Sam Rainsy over the murder of Hun Sen's brother-in-law, as

police claim that a court summons may be issued for the Khmer Nation Party (KNP)


Also, in a thinly-veiled reference to Rainsy, Hun Sen vowed that he will not allow

the mastermind behind the killing to go unpunished.

KNP's security chief Srun Vong Vannak has been held more than a month in a city prison

in connection with Samuth's murder.

Police sources said Municipal Court officials have considered issuing a summons to

question Rainsy after they listened to tape-recorded confessions of Vannak, in which

he allegedly mentioned the KNP leader. But court officials would not confirm their

interest in talking to Rainsy, and no direct evidence against the KNP president has

been made public.

Human rights group Amnesty International has condemned Vannak's detention as illegal,

and Phnom Penh human rights workers suggest that a case is being manufactured against

Rainsy for political reasons.

According to police, Vannak and two other suspects have confessed.

Hun Sen said he would forgive the gunman, but not the mastermind who paid for the


"I will pursue this case even if it has to go to the heavenly world. I won't

let you go free," he said Mar 14.

Rainsy has charged that police used torture to extort confessions from Vannak and,

during a Mar 12 demonstration, demanded that the latter be released. He also wrote

a letter asking intervention from King Norodom Sihanouk who, in his March 11 reply,

referred the matter to Justice Minister Chem Snguon.

Investigating Judge Ya Sakhan was not available for comment on any action against

Rainsy, who is currently in Australia.

"This is a complete distortion, to frame Rainsy," KNP secretary-general

Khieu Rada said.

Meanwhile, Prince Norodom Ranariddh who heads the National United Front, which KNP

is part of, said that handling of the matter must follow proper judicial procedure.

But he refused special support for his ally, saying that he could only defend Rainsy

as a simple citizen.



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