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High court postpones verdict for Mu Sochua

High court postpones verdict for Mu Sochua

THE Supreme Court on Wednesday postponed issuing a verdict in the defamation case involving Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Mu Sochua, officials announced in a short hearing.

Judge Khim Pon told the court that the hearing would be pushed back to an unspecified date after Khmer New Year, in line with Mu Sochua’s request for a delay until after her return from the United States.

In August, Phnom Penh Municipal Court found Mu Sochua guilty of defaming Prime Minister Hun Sen and ordered her to pay 16.5 million riels (around US$3,975) in fines and compensation, a verdict that was upheld on appeal in October.

In a letter sent to the Supreme Court president on March 29, Mu Sochua requested that the court delay the hearing until after April 17.

Mu Sochua confirmed Tuesday that she will be returning to Cambodia on April 16, but maintained that she would not pay any fines associated with the defamation suit, which has received widespread criticism.

Government lawyer Ky Tech, who is representing Hun Sen in the case, said the decision to delay the hearing was up to the court, but called for a speedy conclusion to the case.

“I think that this case should not be delayed [for a] long time. It should be processed soon,” he said.

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