The government has announced that Prime Minister Hun Sen and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng are preparing cases against Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), for submission to French courts.
“Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia, and Sar Kheng are preparing documents to file complaints against the convict Sam Rainsy to the French courts to find universal justice for them both."
“Sam Rainsy said Hun Sen had killed General Hok Lundy, and the convict publicly accused Sar Kheng of plotting to overthrow the government led by Hun Sen,” government spokesperson Phay Siphan said on Friday.
On Sunday, Siphan said the lawsuits were meant to find justice at the international level.
He said Rainsy was a provocateur and Hun Sen had no other option but to seek justice.
Two separate complaints would be submitted to the French courts, Siphan said – one by Hun Sen and the other by Sar Kheng.
“Sam Rainsy has French nationality and he is living there,” Siphan said of the decision to use the French legal system.
Rainsy on Saturday said he would be waiting for Hun Sen at the French court.
Rainsy on Facebook brought up the grenade attack on him in 1997, the killing of movie actress Piseth Pilika in 1999 and the murder of popular analyst Kem Ley in 2016.
He said Hun Sen would not be brave enough to file a complaint against him because it would reveal the truth.
“If Hun Sen finally decides not to file a complaint against me at the French courts, it will show his cowardice and will also be a confession that he was the killer in the cases I mentioned, he said.
Rainsy wrote on his status that: “A good way to quickly put an end to the dictatorship in Cambodia is to make Hun Sen crazy.”
Political analyst Lao Mong Hay said the nation should applaud its top leaders’ appreciation of the rule of law and their decision to seek justice in an independent court in France.
Rainsy’s readiness to defend himself in that court should also be respected.
“Their increasingly personal conflict will be settled once and for all,” he said.
Regarding Rainsy’s claim of making Hun Sen “crazy”, Mong Hay said Rainsy perhaps felt Hun Sen was irascible and made statements to provoke him into angry and sometimes irrational responses.
“So it would be wiser for the prime minister to ignore Sam Rainsy’s provocations and be indifferent to them,” Mong Hay said.
Political analyst Em Sovannara hailed Hun Sen’s decision because politicians should solve disputes through legal measures rather than violence.
“Regarding his reputation as prime minister, if there were links to those cases, it would be a big problem. Sam Rainsy must also accept the ruling of the French courts because it would apply to a French citizen like him,” he said.
Rainsy had brought up Lundy, who died in a helicopter crash in 2008, to provoke Hun Sen, Sovannara said.
In the past, it was usually the ruling party that provoked the Supreme Court-dissolved CNRP, but it is now happening the other way round, he added.
“Incitement, provocation and division are widespread in the mindset of Cambodian politicians. This is a concern because they never bring anything positive,” Sovannara said.
On Sunday, Key Tech, a lawyer representing Hun Sen, said his team was studying the case, but he could not give any further details.