OPPOSITION leader Sam Rainsy challenged Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong last week to comply with a summons issued by judges at the Khmer Rouge tribunal and appear before the court.
The call came in a letter dated Thursday and written from Paris, where Sam Rainsy fled last year to avoid a prison sentence in connection with an October protest in Svay Rieng province.
“You know full well that you are required by the law to show up when summoned by the judge. But why do you refuse to testify?” Sam Rainsy wrote.
In September, international co-investigating judge Marcel Lemonde issued summons letters for Hor Namhong and five other officials from the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP). None of the group appeared before the investigating judges, however, prompting Lemonde to conclude in January that it was “not feasible” to pursue their testimony further, UN court spokesman Lars Olsen said.
Sam Rainsy was convicted of defamation in a French court last year and ordered to pay a symbolic one Euro (US$1.35) after a lawsuit by Hor Namhong. The foreign minister said that Sam Rainsy had accused him in an autobiography of heading the Boeung Trabek “re-education camp”, where diplomats and government officials from the Lon Nol and Norodom Sihanouk regimes were incarcerated by the Khmer Rouge.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong said Sunday that Hor Namhong would ignore Sam Rainsy’s letter.
“He said that he does not respond to a person who is an accused by the French criminal court,” Koy Kuong said.