Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ex-deputy PM Lay Sreng called in to court for defamation

Ex-deputy PM Lay Sreng called in to court for defamation

Ky Tech, lawyer for Prime Minister Hun Sen, speaks with reporters after filing a complaint against former Funcinpec official Lu Lay Sreng last October. The trial will begin January 25, although Lay Sreng remains abroad in America.
Ky Tech, lawyer for Prime Minister Hun Sen, speaks with reporters after filing a complaint against former Funcinpec official Lu Lay Sreng last October. The trial will begin January 25, although Lay Sreng remains abroad in America. Pha Lina

Ex-deputy PM Lay Sreng called in to court for defamation

Former Deputy Prime Minister Lu Lay Sreng, who has been abroad since October, has been summonsed to appear in Phnom Penh Municipal Court for a defamation hearing on January 25.

Lay Sreng, 77, was sued for defamation by his former party, Funcinpec, and Prime Minister Hun Sen for comments made in a secretly recorded private phone conversation.

In the call, Lay Sreng accused Hun Sen of bribing Funcinpec to go along with a plan to have the Cambodia National Rescue Party’s seats in the National Assembly redistributed to Funcinpec.

The royalist party filed the initial complaint against the CNRP accusing it of trying to overthrow the government. It then benefited from the main opposition party’s dissolution by receiving 41 of its seats in the National Assembly.

Lay Sreng was also initially accused of insulting King Norodom Sihamoni after calling him a “castrated chicken” for not taking action over the ongoing political crackdown. He fled the country after Hun Sen and Funcinpec pledged to file lawsuits against him and is now in the United States.

After the suits were filed in October, Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana filed a motion to the court asking it to take “urgent action” and mete out a “strict” punishment over the “serious insult to our majesty the King”.

Legal analysts and experts have criticised the suits, claiming that defamation only applied to comments made in public, and that insulting the King is not actually prohibited by law.

In the court order seen yesterday, only defamation charges are outlined, with no mention of insulting the King.

MOST VIEWED

  • Historic Battambang town bans billboards

    The Battambang town administration informed all house and business owners in Svay Por commune to remove all billboards by August 1 as it is preparing to submit the town to UNESCO for inclusion on its historical cultural heritage list. Its July 25 notice said all signage was

  • All foreigners' accommodations to be inspected: Sar Kheng

    The Ministry of Interior is undertaking a serious effort to inspect all the accommodations of foreigners in Cambodia – except diplomats – in order to find and identify human traffickers. Minister Sar Kheng said this would include inspections on the homes of foreigners employed by businesses, private

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker