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Embattled Sonando to file suit

President of the recently revived Beehive Social Democratic Party Mam Sonando says he is planning a countersuit against his organisation’s vice president, who, together with two other Beehive members, is suing Sonando for embezzling party funds.

Sonando said he will lodge a defamation suit against party vice president Heang Rithy at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court this month, once Rithy’s proceedings against him finish.

“I will sue him with defaming the party’s reputation and defaming my own honour,” he told Post Weekend. “All the things that he has said about me are lies and are not true.”

Sonando, who is also a prominent radio station director and government critic, rejected claims he had unfairly removed Khmer-American Harry Sam Ath from his position as the party’s vice president.

He also denied he embezzled party funds, claims which form the basis of a case brought against Sonando by Rithy, Beehive secretary-general Nhem Bunthan and deputy secretary-general Heang Kimsroeun, who are seeking the dissolution of the party, which was only resurrected in June.

However, the radio station director’s threats of a countersuit didn’t phase Rithy, who says he also plans to file a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Unit regarding the Beehive president’s alleged misappropriation.

“I am happy to hear that he is filing the defamation lawsuit against me in court,” he said.

“This is his right. But I will wait to see that what evidences he will submit to court.”

Despite the cracks in his organisation, Sonando has remained defiant, saying he would continue to restructure and strengthen the party and hold an Extraordinary Congress in December.

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