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

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement

  • Aeon, Micromax partner again for third mall

    AEON Mall (Cambodia) Co Ltd and a locally-owned Micromax Co Ltd have entered into a partnership agreement to develop fibre optic infrastructure for $200 million Aeon Mall 3, which is expected to be opened in 2023. The agreement was signed on June 20 between Masayuki Tsuboya, managing director of