Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rainsy charged over Samrin defamation suit

Rainsy charged over Samrin defamation suit

Sam Rainsy speaks to supporters in Phnom Penh yesterday via a video link.
Sam Rainsy speaks to supporters in Phnom Penh yesterday via a video link. Hong Menea

Rainsy charged over Samrin defamation suit

A Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor has formally charged opposition leader Sam Rainsy over a defamation suit brought by National Assembly president Heng Samrin, according to the plaintiff’s lawyer.

Adding more weight to the slew of legal cases hanging over the CNRP president’s head, prosecutor Vong Bun Visoth forwarded the case to city court judge Ros Piseth “a few days ago” after Rainsy, living in self-imposed exile in France, failed to answer two summonses to contest the allegations, said Ky Tech, lawyer for Samrin.

“The trial may start in three months, probably in June,” Tech said.

Samrin’s complaint relates to a Facebook post by Rainsy in December, which suggested the 1980s regime led initially by Samrin – a forerunner to the Cambodian People’s Party – had indicted late King Norodom Sihanouk of being a traitor and sentenced him, in absentia, to death in a show trial.

Rainsy replied that though the CPP did not actually sentence Sihanouk to death, they killed the popular monarch “politically and morally” by establishing their government in 1979.

He also called on Samrin to explain the legal merits of the case, given he wasn’t named in the post.

Yesterday, judge Piseth said he was yet to receive the dossier.

At the time Samrin’s suit was lodged, Rainsy had already decided not to return to Cambodia after the court ordered he serve a long-dormant two-year prison sentence for defaming Foreign Minister Hor Namhong in 2008.

That conviction, delivered in 2011, also included an incitement charge.

Rainsy also faces a potential 17-year sentence for a forgery and incitement case and was sued this month by CPP official Sam Soeun over another Facebook comment.

Additional reporting by Shaun Turton

MOST VIEWED

  • Archaeologists find ancient remnant

    A team from the Apsara National Authority (ANA) has discovered a gatekeeper statue’s foot fragment at the Tonle Snguot Temple, within a metre of the toe of a statue found in 2017. ANA spokesman Long Kosal told The Post on Wednesday that the fragment was

  • Hun Sen to the rescue

    Cambodia has won praise for allowing passengers of the MS Westerdam cruise ship to dock at Preah Sihanouk port, thanks to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s humanitarian act. In a message via Twitter on Wednesday, the director-general of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu

  • EU partially withdraws EBA

    The EU Commission on Wednesday announced the partial withdrawal of the Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme, citing a serious and systematic violation by Cambodia of principles in the four core human and labour rights. The suspension affects one-fifth or €1 billion ($1.08 billion) of Cambodia’s annual

  • PM orders immediate action against ‘sexy’ live streamers

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday ordered immediate action against women who live stream their sales pitches on Facebook wearing revealing clothing. The prime minister said the practice erodes traditional Cambodian values and disgraces women. Hun Sen gave the order to officials attending the Cambodian

  • Trump tweets praise for Kingdom docking ship

    Cambodia continues to earn praise for its humanitarian act of allowing the MS Westerdam cruise ship with more than 2,200 passengers and crew on board to dock at the Preah Sihanouk port. The praise this time comes from none other than US President Donald Trump. “Thank

  • Japan calls for policy changes

    Representatives of Japanese companies and investors on Wednesday submitted a list of policy recommendations to the government concerning 21 challenges to the Kingdom’s business climate. Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami and leaders of the Japanese Business Association in Cambodia (JBAC), Japan International Cooperation Agency