Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government official sues Sam Rainsy for treason over 2013 comments on Montagnards



Government official sues Sam Rainsy for treason over 2013 comments on Montagnards

A screenshot of a video of former opposition leader Sam Rainsy (right) speaking with pro-Montagnard activist Kok Ksor in 2013.
A screenshot of a video of former opposition leader Sam Rainsy (right) speaking with pro-Montagnard activist Kok Ksor in 2013.

Government official sues Sam Rainsy for treason over 2013 comments on Montagnards

An anti-terrorism official in the Cambodian government has filed a complaint accusing former opposition leader Sam Rainsy of treason over comments he made in 2013 pledging some autonomy to an ethnic minority group.

The lawsuit was filed by Y Sokhy, head of the Ministry of Interior’s anti-terrorism department, late on Wednesday, just hours after Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered a thorough investigation.

Sokhy confirmed Thursday that the lawsuit had been filed, but declined to comment further. The case is pending before the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

In 2013, Rainsy met with a pro-Montagnard activist in the US, and pledged a degree of “autonomy” to the ethnic group, largely quoting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. Hun Sen and other government officials claimed Rainsy had promised to cede four provinces, a charge Rainsy denies.

The lawsuit also claims Rainsy already admitted the charge in a Phnom Penh Post article from March 8. In that article however, Rainsy denied ever intending to grant independence or a separate state.

The lawsuit is the latest in a slew of legal attacks on Rainsy, who has lived abroad since 2015 to avoid multiple politically tinged convictions. His successor to the presidency of the opposition party, Kem Sokha, was also arrested on widely dismissed charges of “treason” in September, with their party dissolved shortly thereafter.

Rainsy could not immediately be reached for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • PM asks India for vaccine help

    Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking assistance from India for the provision of Covid-19 vaccines as the country has produced its own vaccine which is scheduled to be rolled out to more than 300 million Indians this year. The request was made during his meeting with

  • Capital set to beef up security

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng held the first meeting of the year with heads of armed forces in the capital to review and repair the deficiencies related to gun control, drug crimes, social order disruptions due to alcohol consumption and traffic law enforcement. Municipal