Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Supreme Court stands by Rainsy ‘defamation’

Supreme Court stands by Rainsy ‘defamation’

Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy speaks to the media during a press conference in 2014 in Phnom Penh.
Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy speaks to the media during a press conference in 2014 in Phnom Penh. Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP

Supreme Court stands by Rainsy ‘defamation’

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld a defamation conviction against former opposition leader Sam Rainsy filed by National Assembly President Heng Samrin.

The case stems from a video Rainsy posted on Facebook in November of 2015 depicting the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk along with a text message accusing the Samrin-led post-Khmer Rouge government of trying Sihanouk in absentia for treason and sentencing him to death in a show trial in 1979.

Presiding Judge Khem Pun yesterday said the court was in agreement with the decisions handed out by the two lower courts, which included 150 million riel (about $37,200) in compensation to be paid to Samrin, as well as a separate 10 million riel fine to the state.

“The Appeal Court decision is correct and according to legal procedures,” Pun said.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court decision was handed down on July 28, 2016, which was then upheld by the Appeal Court on November 1, 2016, according to Rainsy’s defence lawyer, Sam Sokong.

Sokong said Rainsy’s team of lawyers boycotted the hearing because the court refused to postpone the proceedings, as requested by the group last week.

“Our group of lawyers thinks that verdict was not correct. It does not provide justice to our client,” Sokong said.

Samrin’s lawyer, Ky Tech, could not be reached yesterday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Reuters: US Embassy fired 32 staff members for sharing pornography

    The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh has fired 32 non-diplomatic staff members who were allegedly caught exchanging pornographic images and video, including of minors, according to the news agency Reuters. Four sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the content was shared in

  • Our 2018 guide to spending Khmer New Year in Phnom Penh

    Khmer New Year festivities are upon us. For the next few days, travellers will be making their way to their home provinces to eat, celebrate, play traditional games and visit a pagoda with offerings. If you will be staying put in Phnom Penh for the

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the