The government’s legal team has accused Supreme-Court Dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) “acting president” Sam Rainsy’s lawyer Richard Rogers of distorting the truth and offering opinions that conflict with valid legal measures.
It said Rogers did this during his interview on Radio Free Asia last week when he spoke about Rainsy’s return.
“If Hun Sen’s armed forces dare to shoot at and crack down on civilians who accompany Supreme Court-dissolved [CNRP] officials, it would be a crime tantamount to crimes against humanity,” Rogers claimed.
“Until those actions are taken, we will file an additional complaint with the International Criminal Court [ICC] to punish officials for their involvement. Moreover, such a case would enforce evidence in a [separate] case we brought against officials [before the ICC].”
Rogers claimed during the interview that the former CNRP leaders who wished to re-enter Cambodia were elected lawmakers. He argued that their return would “restore democracy” without violence and warned that opening fire on “supporters” would be unwarranted.
In response to the interview, the government’s legal team, led by chief lawyer Ky Tech, issued a statement on Monday saying that Rogers’ comments distorted the truth.
The copy of the statement obtained by The Post read: “The planned return of the convict Sam Rainsy and his companions is a plot to orchestrate a coup d’etat to topple the legitimate government in Cambodia.
“The convict Sam Rainsy and his companions clearly called on the armed forces to turn their guns against the government.
“He [Rainsy] has announced a budget [for defectors] in a bid to buy the hearts of the armed forces and mobilise the people to unite and rise. He has also called on the people to surround commune and police headquarters across the country.
“He insulted the King, called for his abdication, and demanded the arrest of Samdech Techo Hun Sen. All his actions are a plot with the singular purpose of orchestrating a coup d’etat.
“The Cambodian Criminal Code states [that staging a coup] is equivalent to the crime of plotting and it prescribes 15 to 30 years imprisonment or a life sentence.”
The statement said Rogers and Rainsy would always combine efforts to fabricate facts and file complaints against the Cambodian government and Prime Hun Sen with the ICC, but the Hague-based court would always leave the case unprocessed.
The statement further warned that any individuals, regardless of whether or not they are civilians, would be punished for “plotting” if they followed Rainsy, and could be sentenced to five to 10 years in prison, while government officials could be imprisoned for up to 20 years.
“Only criminals and groups supporting the criminal activity of staging a coup d’etat to topple the legitimate government [take part in such actions].
“They do not hold the role of being elected lawmakers or innocent civilians as Richard Rogers calls them. They are called criminal offenders,” the statement stressed.