Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sam Rainsy handed jail time in defamation case against PM

Sam Rainsy handed jail time in defamation case against PM

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Sam Rainsy talks to the media after a meeting in Phnom Penh in 2015.

Sam Rainsy handed jail time in defamation case against PM

Former CNRP president Sam Rainsy was slapped with yet another conviction this morning after the Phnom Penh Municipal Court found him guilty of incitement and defamation for alleging last year that political commentator Kem Ley’s death was “state-backed terrorism”.

The conviction, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of the grenade attack on a rally led by Rainsy, was handed down by judge Y Thavrak, who sentenced Rainsy to one year and eight months in prison along with a 10 million riel fine (about $2,500). Rainsy will also have to pay a symbolic punitive fine of 100 riel to Hun Sen.

“Sam Rainsy is convicted to 20 months and fined 10 million riel for defamation in public and incitement to cause social disorder,” said court spokesman Ly Sophanna, after the ruling.

Following Kem Ley’s death last year, Rainsy took to Facebook to call the killing a state sponsored act, leading to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s lawyer Ky Tech filing a court complaint on behalf of the premier.

Many believe Ley’s killing to be politically motivated, and the conviction this month of the ostensible shooter in the case has done little to quell Cambodians’ suspicions that he acted at the behest of others.

Similarly, Sam Rainsy Party Senator Thak Lany was convicted in November for also alleging that Hun Sen was behind the murder of the popular commentator and was handed an 18 month sentence, a $2,000 fine and a 100 riel symbolic compensation to the premier. The senator was convicted in absentia after being granted asylum in Sweden.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the