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Legal action possible over ‘coup theory’

Legal action possible over ‘coup theory’

Royalist party Funcinpec is considering filing a lawsuit against acting Sam Rainsy Party president Kong Korm for comments he allegedly made asserting that Lon Nol’s 1970 coup against then-Prince Norodom Sihanouk was actually carried out at
Sihanouk’s behest.

According to party general secretary Nhek Bun Chhay, the party’s legal expert has been looking into the possibility of taking action against what it considers a jab at Sihanouk’s memory, but as of yet there has not been an official decision.

“We’re considering the lawsuit against Kong Korm, but the official decision on whether to file a complaint against him or not will be made by the party’s permanent committee,” Bun Chhay said.

The controversy was ignited when the ruling Cambodian People’s Party leaked a recording purportedly capturing Korm making the offending statement. The recording comes hot on the heels of a similar leak in which Cambodia National Rescue Party president Kem Sokha allegedly made remarks denying aspects of the history of the infamous Khmer Rouge torture centre S-21.

Sokha has since denied making the remarks, saying the audio had been taken out of context and doctored.

While Korm did not confirm or deny making the remarks regarding the coup yesterday, he did maintain that the matter was purely political.

“So far I have not seen any official complaint against me on the case, and I know that this came from the order of Prime Minister Hun Sen,” he said, referring to the controversy surrounding Sokha. “I think what  Nhek Bun Chhay is doing by considering filing [a lawsuit] against me is something to curry favour with Hun Sen.”

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