An opposition senator accused of slandering Prime Minister Hun Sen will not appear in court today as ordered in a summons issued last week, but has instead submitted a request to delay the hearing via her lawyer, who yesterday said the defence had witnesses who could absolve the lawmaker.
Sam Rainsy Party Senator Thak Lany, whose whereabouts are unknown, has been accused by Hun Sen of slander and public incitement for comments linking him to the murder of political analyst Kem Ley made while addressing grassroots supporters in Ratanakkiri on July 29.
The premier has also lodged a similar complaint against Cambodia National Rescue Party president Sam Rainsy, though, unlike the opposition leader, who has stood by his comments, Lany has denied suggesting Hun Sen was behind Ley’s murder, saying the video of her speech was edited.
Lany’s attorney, Sam Sokong, said yesterday that his client would not show up for questioning today, as the “rushed” process had given them little time to prepare their defence.
Having already requested a delay, Sokong said the team had found witnesses who could back up Lany’s claim but needed more time to submit the evidence to the court.
“We have the proof, such as witnesses and other material that shows that she did not have the intention [to accuse Hun Sen],” Sokong said.
Speaking last week, Hun Sen warned Lany she would be arrested if she tried to flee the country, and the premier’s lawyer, Ky Tech, warned the lawmaker again yesterday.
“If she flees, it means that she recognises her fault,” Tech said. “If she appears [in court] to clarify . . . then the court decides whether to charge or not.”