Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rainsy welcomes US judge’s announcement in Facebook case



Rainsy welcomes US judge’s announcement in Facebook case

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Photographs of the prime minister dancing with his wife during Khmer New Year celebrations were uploaded to his Facebook in April. Hun Sen has made use of the platform to appeal to Cambodians on a more personal level. Facebook

Rainsy welcomes US judge’s announcement in Facebook case

Former Cambodia National Rescue Party leader Sam Rainsy and his legal team have welcomed a California court’s indication that Facebook will be obliged to provide information related to various legal cases the self-exiled opposition figure is facing in the Kingdom.

Judge Sallie Kim said in a hearing Monday that she would “likely” instruct the social media giant to hand over pertinent data, specifically in relation to Rainsy’s domestic legal woes.

Rainsy’s head lawyer, Noah Hagey, submitted English translations of four Cambodian court documents covering four separate convictions on Tuesday, all of which stemmed from statements made by Rainsy on Facebook.

The first complaint is about Rainsy’s claim that Hun Sen buys Facebook ‘likes’. An analysis shows that a disproportionate amount of the premier’s likes originate overseas, including in countries known to harbour so-called “click farms”. The second case concerns an accusation from Rainsy that the Cambodian government was behind the murder of government critic Kem Ley, a belief that many others share. The third stems from Rainsy’s accusation that Hun Sen bribed social media activist Thy Sovantha to attack the opposition. Rainsy’s accusation was seemingly substantiated by leaked messages purportedly showing conversations between the two, although the messages have not been independently verified. The fourth case was based on a video recording of Rainsy urging soldiers not to obey orders that endanger civilians.

The submissions were made after Judge Sallie Kim said Monday she was inclined to honour Rainsy’s request for information from Facebook, but noted that the initial request was overly broad.

“I am grateful to the Court’s careful review of the Application, and to its indication that discovery of Facebook will be permitted,” Rainsy said in an email Wednesday.

He reiterated claims that Hun Sen and his “agents” have abused the platform to “defraud ordinary Cambodians during this critical time in our country”.

Hagey said the legal team continues to “be surprised by Facebook’s overly-zealous opposition to ordinary discovery of Facebook”.

Both Hagey and Rainsy suggested that the information received could “exonerate” Rainsy of his convictions in Cambodia, though the Kingdom's justice system has been regularly disparaged as a tool of the ruling party.

Updates to follow.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Courts’ decisions now published as reference source

    The Ministry of Justice has published 44 verdicts from civil litigation cases which can be used as models for court precedents and for study by the public and those who work in pertinent fields. Publication of the verdicts on December 31 came as the result of joint

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • China firm to develop Mondulkiri airport

    Tourism to the Kingdom’s northeast corridor could experience a remarkable metamorphosis after the government decided in principle of a Chinese company to study and develop a proposal to build a regional-level airport in Mondulkiri province, according to industry insiders. The Council of Ministers said