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PM’s lawyer to pressure court on Mu Sochua

PM’s lawyer to pressure court on Mu Sochua

A LAWYER for Prime Minister Hun Sen plans to submit a request to Phnom Penh Municipal Court officials today for the speedy collection of 8 million riels (US$1,904) owed by opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua in connection with a defamation case involving his client.

On June 2, the Supreme Court upheld the Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker’s defamation conviction, handed down by the Municipal Court last August, as well as an order that she pay 8 million riels in compensation and 8.5 million riels (US$2,023) in fines.

The Appeal Court upheld the Municipal Court ruling last October.

Ky Tech, Hun Sen’s lawyer, said the Supreme Court delivered its verdict to the Municipal Court on Monday, and that he plans to submit his request today.

The fine of 8.5 million riels, he said, is owed to the state, so the court can collect it whenever it wishes.

But because the compensation payment is intended for his client, he said, he has the right to ask that it be paid immediately.

“Since I am representing Samdech Prime Minister, I will make a request to prosecutors to demand the 8 million riels in compensation for mental damages,” Ky Tech said.

Mu Sochua was originally accused of defaming the prime minister after she filed her own defamation lawsuit against him, following remarks he made in a speech in April last year.

When contacted on Monday, Mu Sochua said she would wait to see what action the court takes, but echoed previous statements expressing her refusal to pay either the fine or compensation.

“My stance will not be changed. If I do not pay, I have already read the law, and I will not be imprisoned at once,” she said.

“I want to see whether the court follows Ky Tech or follows the law.”

Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutors Yet Chakriya and Sok Roeun, who are in charge of processing Mu Sochua’s case, could not be reached for comment on Monday.

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