Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kem Sokha assistant grilled over Rainsy allegation

Kem Sokha assistant grilled over Rainsy allegation

Prime Minister Hun Sen talks to opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha
Prime Minister Hun Sen talks to opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha after high-level negotiations at the National Assembly in Phnom Penh last year. Heng Chivoan

Kem Sokha assistant grilled over Rainsy allegation

An assistant to deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha was yesterday questioned by a party disciplinary committee after going public with allegations of corruption in the CNRP.

Lak Sopheap, a Cambodia National Rescue Party central committee member, claimed over the weekend that Sokha had accused Sam Rainsy in a party meeting of accepting $20 million to negotiate with Prime Minister Hun Sen during the political deadlock earlier this year.

Ou Chanrith, chairman of the CNRP’s disciplinary committee, said yesterday that the allegations were absolutely false and that Sopheap had been given a further 24 hours to “clarify” her remarks. “If she does not follow this, I will call another committee meeting to take action according to what she has done and to protect the credibility of the party’s leaders,” he said.

Chanrith told the Post on Sunday that Sopheap could face dismissal for her comments, which she made at a forum held by Kem Ley’s Khmer for Khmer “social movement”.

Ley’s democracy-focused movement is being pushed as an alternative to the two major parties.

Sopheap – who claims she tipped off Sokha to alleged corruption in the party, but did not herself blame it on Rainsy – said she stood by her comments.

“I cannot say sorry, because I have not made any mistake,” she said. “I have told them I will not resign. But if they dismiss me, then fine,” she said.

Sopheap repeated on Sunday that “Mr Kem Sokha said that Mr Sam Rainsy received $20 million. Mr Kem Sokha raised it … on December 5.”

She alleges this happened after the tip-off, which implicated “party negotiators” in alleged corruption amounting to some $40 million.

In response to allegations of financial misappropriation against Rainsy, 18 opposition activists thumb-printed a petition on Sunday calling on Anti-Corruption Unit president Om Yentieng to immediately
investigate Rainsy and Sokha in order to clear their names.

However, they added, if the leaders are found to actually be corrupt, then legal action should be taken.

Sokha, currently travelling in Europe with Rainsy, was not reachable yesterday, but his daughter and party deputy public affairs head Kem Monovithya said the allegations were completely baseless.

“Kem Sokha has never accused Sam Rainsy of anything. They have been together for weeks in Europe meeting our chapters abroad,” she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • 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

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’