Former senator Sor Chandeth has defended his choice of words when criticising Hun Sen, saying he was merely speaking metaphorically to attack the Prime Minister’s political life, not his actual person, as the latter seeks damages.
Chandeth spoke to The Post on Thursday, a day after Hun Sen ordered his lawyers to prepare a lawsuit demanding not less than $2 million in compensation for wishing him dead 32 times.
The former senator for the now defunct Sam Rainsy Party on Wednesday admitted Hun Sen was referring to him when speaking of an unnamed opposition politician.
But he denied that what he had posted on Facebook were threats.
“The messages I posted were not threats to his life. They were making comparisons to his political life. I wrote in bullet points, like in my last post in which I said he was in “danger of decapitation”."
“I talked about storms from eight directions and then described them. I only mentioned his health in the last point."
“I don’t care that what he said had the intention to threaten me. I know he has threatened me, but I don’t care because I don’t have property for him to confiscate."
“Should I have, I would not regret they being confiscated because the value is not higher than the value of national properties – like the territories we have lost under his leadership to a neighbouring country,” Chandeth claimed.
He rejected the notion that he had wished ill-health on Hun Sen, saying talking of health was normal, as it was a concern of everyone and nobody could escape death.
He claimed he had criticised the prime minister while he was still in Cambodia, and it did not begin only after he had left the country.
“I went to the community [while in Cambodia]. I met people. There are video clips from then in which I say more serious things than that. So Mr Hun Sen should count again – it’s more than 32 times,” he said, referring to his criticisms of the prime minister.
He said he had two young daughters in the country who were living with a friend.
He alleged that “some strangers” had carried out surveillance at their home after Hun Sen had talked of the lawsuit.
Ky Tech, a lawyer representing Hun Sen, told The Post on Thursday that he could not yet comment on the case.
Government spokesperson Phay Siphan on Wednesday issued a statement condemning the insults, calling them “against the law”.
It said the prime minister was elected by the “will and choice” of the people.
“The royal government will not at all allow such actions and deeds . . . as they affect national security and the choice of the people. They are not acceptable under political freedom or freedom of speech.”