Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Suit to proceed: Mu Sochua

Suit to proceed: Mu Sochua

Suit to proceed: Mu Sochua

SRP lawmaker urges objectivity in Bar’s investigation into lawyer

OPPOSITION lawmaker Mu Sochua maintained Thursday that she would not withdraw her defamation suit against Prime Minister Hun Sen, but urged the Cambodian Bar Association to act objectively in its investigation of her lawyer for misconduct, saying that she feared no one else would represent her if the organisation banned him from practising law.

"If Kong Sam Onn is disbarred, I don't know who I have confidence in and who would dare defend me in court," Mu Sochua said, referring to her lawyer, who is the subject of a complaint from Hun Sen's own counsel and former Bar Association president Ky Tech.

The Bar has said it will investigate Kong Sam Onn on accusations that he defamed Hun Sen. It said that he could be disbarred in a move that many see as politically motivated.

"Ky Tech made many comments about me that could be seen as an attempt to exert influence on the court. The Bar must show its independence.... This case is not about Mu Sochua; it is about justice," Mu Sochua said.

"I do not intend to withdraw my case from the court. Please rest assured that I intend to go all the way," she said.

"I will not apologise to Prime Minister Hun Sen in order to conclude the case. If I apologise to him, it means I accept that I am at fault.... Do not think that I will leave my pursuit for justice."

Bar Association spokesman Ly Tayseng said Thursday the investigation had not started because of the public holiday. "We expect to review the work after the public holiday next week," he said.

Mu Sochua is suing Hun Sen, saying that he called her cheung klang, a term that when literally translated means "strong leg".

She says the term can be derogatory when applied to women.

In response, Hun Sen is countersuing Mu Sochua for defamation, as well as asking that her lawyer be disbarred for violating the Bar Association's code of ethics.

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