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KPP chief's defamation case against Namhong tossed by judge

Khmer Power Party president Sourn Serey Ratha prepares to file a defamation lawsuit against Foreign Minister Hor Namhong at Phnom Penh Provincial Court in December. Photo supplied
Khmer Power Party president Sourn Serey Ratha prepares to file a defamation lawsuit against Foreign Minister Hor Namhong at Phnom Penh Provincial Court in December. Photo supplied

KPP chief's defamation case against Namhong tossed by judge

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has thrown out out a defamation lawsuit filed last month by political party president Sourn Serey Ratha against Foreign Minister Hor Namhong.

According to a letter from prosecutor Meas Chanpiseth, Serey Ratha’s case was dropped on January 29. The letter did not specify on what grounds the suit was rejected.

The Post could not reach Chanpiseth, while Kar Savuth, Namhong’s lawyer, declined to comment.

The suit stemmed from remarks made by Namhong on December 7 describing Serey Ratha’s Khmer Power Party as headed by a “terrorist mastermind”.

Serey Ratha had long headed the nationalist Khmer People Power Movement in his years of self-imposed exile in the US, during which the government accused him of terrorism.

However, he returned to Cambodia in October after he was pardoned for convictions widely seen as politically motivated that put three of his followers behind bars.

When Serey Ratha filed the suit against Namhong on December 21, he said he had the “lowest per cent of hope that action will be taken” but wanted to stop future slurs on his character. He also promised he would donate any judgment to the Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals.

On his Facebook page yesterday, Serey Ratha slammed the rejection as “another injustice” and vowed to appeal.