Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), failed to appear at court for questioning on Wednesday concerning a complaint filed by Minister of Interior Sar Kheng.
According to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court schedule, Rainsy was due in court on Wednesday morning to be grilled by Deputy Prosecutor Seng Kim Lak over his claim that Sar Kheng, who is also deputy prime minister, supported a revenge plot against Hun Sen.
“The suspect did not appear in court as summoned by prosecutor Seng Kim Lak and did not put in a request for a lawyer,” court spokesperson Kuch Kimlong said.
Sar Kheng filed the complaint at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court against Rainsy early last month, requesting the court sentence him according to the law and demanding four billion riel ($1 million) in compensation.
The complaint stems from a claim Rainsy made on Facebook that Sar Kheng supported a plot by Hun Sen’s son-in-law Dy Vichea to seek revenge against the prime minister.
Rainsy alleged Vichea wanted revenge against Hun Sen over his role in the 2008 death of his father, National Police chief Hok Lundy, in a helicopter crash.
Vichea also planned to sue Rainsy. He told The Post on Wednesday that his lawyer was preparing documents to be submitted to the court.
Hak Seakly, one of Sar Kheng’s three lawyers, said he had clarified the case with the court prosecutor two weeks ago.
“The court asked us whether we wanted to continue with the complaint or had changed our position. We told him we wanted to continue,” he said.
Seakly said according to procedures, the court would decide whether to reissue a summons or start an investigation.
Lawyer Sam Sokong, who has defended Rainsy in many of his legal wranglings, said on Wednesday that the CNRP co-founder had not asked him to represent him in this latest case.
Rainsy told The Post on Wednesday that it was telling that Hun Sen had not filed any complaint for “defamation” or “incitement” against him even though he had accused him of being the mastermind of the “accidental” death of Lundy in 2008.
“This most important accusation of mine comes first. My subsequent allegation is about Hok Lundy’s eldest son Dy VIchea possibly planning to avenge his father. Dy Vichea too hasn’t lodged any complaint against me and remains silent.
“Only at the end of my reasoning did I allege that if Dy Vichea were to effectively consider avenging his father, then Sar Kheng would back him.
“But both Hun Sen and Dy Vichea remain silent. Only Sar Kheng – who is collateral damage – strangely filed this far-fetched lawsuit against me,” Rainsy said.
Rainsy said Sar Kheng was forced by Hun Sen to file the complaint to show he was not attempting to topple the prime minister.
“Therefore, the lawsuit formally initiated by Sar Kheng only reflects internal tensions within the [ruling Cambodian People’s Party],” Rainsy said.