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Suit filed over claim that Samrin's hometown 'in Vietnam'

Royal Academy of Cambodia president Sok Touch speaks at an event yesterday in Phnom Penh.
Royal Academy of Cambodia president Sok Touch speaks at an event yesterday in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied

Suit filed over claim that Samrin's hometown 'in Vietnam'

An official with the obscure Khmer United Great Nation Party (KUGNP) filed a lawsuit yesterday against border researcher Sok Touch for suggesting last week that National Assembly President Heng Samrin’s home is in Vietnamese territory.

The complaint was filed to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court by Heang Kim Sroeun, vice president of the KUGNP, and accused the Royal Academy director of a slew of transgressions.

Kim Sroeun, whose party did not run in the 2017 commune elections, accused Touch of defamation, incitement to discriminate, insult to public officials, using counterfeit documents, giving fake information and treason.

On August 18, Touch said that Samrin’s Tbong Khmum hometown was actually in Vietnam according to map lines, a claim that was supported by CPP spokesman Sok Eysan.

Kim Sroeun, however, said Touch had “faked the history of Anlong Chrey village . . . which is the birthplace of Samdech Heng Samrin”, maintaining that Touch had accused Samrin of “grabbing Vietnamese land”.

Kim Sroeun said Touch’s speech was meant to “break national unity . . . or accuse some leaders and the government”.

Touch, who was recently promoted to the head of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, a promotion which carries a rank equivalent to a government minister, defended his comments.

“I am a scientific researcher, I speak the truth. Why blame me? This issue is not a secret,” he said yesterday, adding he will consider filing a countersuit.

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