The French magazine which, last week, published extracts from Piseth Pelika's diaries
is standing by its story accusing Hun Sen's wife of having had the actress murdered
and says it has additional proof which it will produce in court if threatened legal
action goes ahead.
The thorn between two roses: Prime Minister Hun Sen, and right, his wife Bun Rany,
left, Piseth Pelika
The additional evidence they say includes witnesses, documents, business papers and
personal objects of Hun Sen which prove the Prime Minister was involved in an affair
with Pelika and that his wife had her killed out of jealousy.
L'Express journalist Alain Louyot said the diary itself had been verified through
the hand writing and finger prints.
However a full copy of the diaries has not been made available for scrutiny of the
contents. Nor could copies of diary pages used for L'Express article and obtained
by the Post (full translations page 5) be compared with the original which is believed
to be being kept in a bank vault.
The story in L'Express magazine cited diary entries in which Pelika spoke of her
relationship with Hun Sen and her fears that Hun Sen's wife Bun Rany was jealous
and planned to kill her.
The diaries say the relationship began in August 1998 and continued until earlier
this year when Hun Sen ended it at the insistence of Bun Rany.
They go on to say that national police director Hok Lundy met with Pelika to warn
her off the relationship because of the danger of incurring the wrath of Bun Rany.
They also say by the end of the relationship Bun Rany had forced Pelika to hand back
the house Hun Sen had given her, seized most of the money in her bank account and
demanded the return of all of Hun Sen's gifts including a 4wd vehicle.
In the diary she says she went to the Canadia Bank to withdraw the money from Hun
Sen ($200,000) but she was told Bun Rany had put a hold on the account and she only
managed to obtain $50,000 and $2,000 interest.
In addition to the diaries the paper published a poem by Hun Sen which the story
says was found among Pelika's possessions after her death.
All protagonists in the story are now moving swiftly to build up arguments and counter
On Wednesday, Hun Sen advisor Om Yentieng issued a statement denying the allegations
of an affair and Bun Rany's involvement in the actress's death and blaming opposition
politician Sam Rainsy for the revelations. However he conceded that the poem was
written by Hun Sen but denied it was intended for Pelika but was instead an expression
of sentiments many people felt.
The statement went on to say that Bun Rany would "seek justice" from courts
in Paris and Phnom Penh.
It also says that there were inconsistencies in the diaries text specifically that
the relationship was supposedly consummated a month after Hun Sen had undergone surgery
to remove his appendix.
Yentieng said that Hun Sen still had stitches and an intravenous drip and was incapable
of such actions.
A western doctor spoken to by the Post said that generally stitches for such an operation
would have been removed a week after surgery. He did not feel proficient to give
a generic opinion on how soon a patient could resume marital relations.
The allegations that the Sam Rainsy Party had influenced the story appear to have
some substance but Alain Louyot said that was irrelevant to the veracity of the story.
"Yes of course it is true that Sam Rainsy's sister in law works for our magazine,"
"It is also true and understandable that members of the opposition are exploiting
"However Pelika herself wrote this diary and explicitly mentioned death threats
from Mrs Hun Sen. Pelika's sister has confirmed to me - she has sworn, to be precise,
on the memory of Pelika - that her sister had told her, when she was still alive,
about this diary and the death threats.
Additionally Piseth Pelika's sister, Ouk Divina, who was with Pelika the day she
was murdered and provided L'Express with the diaries is married to Sam Rainsy's bodyguard.
However Rainsy denies he concocted the story or that he influenced the story through
"They tend to blame me for everything bad they encounter. As we say in khmer:
'if you do bad things you will suffer from bad things' this is a fundamental law
in Buddhism," he said.
"They should follow Lord Buddha's teaching and meditate,
instead of seeing Sam Rainsy's hand everywhere."
Rainsy similarly dismisses the involvement of his sister-in-law.
"They show their Khmer Rouge background and their communist culture according
to which you can do everything with power, money and connections (corruption, cronyism).
This communist culture, which is at the root of a totalitarian regime, leaves no
room for principals, human dignity, freedom, integrity and conscience. L'Express
is not what the Pravda used to be in the former USSR."
Meanwhile other people mentioned in the story are denying the accuracy of the diary.
Bun Rany said in the statement issued by Om Yentieng that her husband had never indulged
in the type of extra marital relationship outlined in the diaries during their 24
years of marriage.
Hok Lundy also denied the meeting with Pelika and said he believed the whole matter
to be a political move by Sam Rainsy.
"L'Express and the local newspapers have defamed Bun Rany, Hun Sen. This is
a political ruse by the Sam Rainsy Party," he said.
"I never met with Pelika. If I met her and told her to escape, she would have
However he has ruled out taking legal action himself.
"My habit is not to complain to the press," he said.
They use my name to embroider their stories."
Ouk Divina, however is sticking to her story, when spoken to by the Post she said
that the diaries were true and accurate.
"My Pelika started her diary when she started seeing Hun Sen.
"She started to be worried for herself and her family.
"If one day something happened to her family, she wanted the world to know what
In answer to Hok Lundy's suggestion that if he had warned her Pelika would have left
the country Divinia said Pelika had planned to go to France with the Royal Ballet
soon after the meeting and decided to wait.
"Hok Lundy was sorry for my sister," she said.
"He advised her to go away.
"She thought of going by plane but Hok Lundy told her that she would not be
able to leave from the airport as Bun Rany could have her passport seized."
It is now to be seen if the matter will be tested in court. A law suit in Paris is
possible but likely to be embarrassing for Hun Sen and Bun Rany no matter what the
It is yet to be seen if Hun Sen would be comfortable being cross-examined on his
sex life in a foreign court.
The alternative is to do nothing and accept further salacious revelations from the
diary being drip fed to the media over the coming months.
Head of the investigation into Pelika's death, General Teng Savong, said that inquiries
were proceeding but refused to discuss the allegations against Bun Rany.
The poem in
Hun Sen's handwriting
and in English
I sleep and dream of your fragrence
My life has meaning when I met love
I cannot escape from life's inheritance
The ties from past life ties you with me
I very much miss the loving life
18th August will always be remembered
This life and the next with pity
I ask for your real love, please pity me
Marrying with no music but meaningful prayer [to ancestors]
because you and I have faithful hearts
and sacrifice our body without regret
I was very nostalgic over our love
I very much pity your tears
what karma made you so unfortunate
life as an orphan with separation
You have a husband with a traitorous heart adding to your misery
I understand your heart with tolerance
Being a man I must dare to say
you must be brave to go through the storm
for the love which you are satisfied with
I ask you for your pity
really pity me, my heart
both you and I have the same sorrow
this is the inheritence of the life
If you have a child I won't say anything
but please, darling, don't switch off your phone
Pity me and correspond with words
and we won't be separated forever