Opposition leader Sam Rainsy says he will face a summons hearing in Phnom Penh over allegations he defamed National Assembly President Heng Samrin, but only via Skype.
Samrin’s claim is among three lawsuits levelled against the beleaguered Cambodia National Rescue Party leader, who remains in self-imposed exile in Europe to avoid arrest.
“I accept to answer any questions from the tribunal following the summons I received related to a defamation complaint from Mr. Heng Samrin,” Rainsy stated, via email. “On 4 January 2016, in order to save time and money, I am willing to meet and talk with any judge on Skype – a communication tool based on the Internet – which is consistent with the fact that I am accused of defaming Mr. Heng Samrin on the Internet.”
The case concerns a Facebook post by Rainsy alleging the Vietnamese-backed government led by Samrin had accused the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk of being a traitor and sentenced him to death.
Yesterday, Samrin’s lawyer Ky Tech dismissed Rainsy’s suggestion. “There can be no such thing, because in a criminal case, the accused must appear, he could not be questioned [by Skype].”