Home > Local News, Politic, Sam Rainsy > No defence necessary: Sam Rainsy

No defence necessary: Sam Rainsy

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy said yesterday he will not ask his lawyer
to defend him against charges of defamation and disinformation brought
by Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong, in a case stemming from a
2008 complaint that the Phnom Penh Municipal Court announced last week
it would hear on April 5.

Sam Rainsy, president of the eponymous
political party, said yesterday he would not ask his lawyer to attend
the trial “because it’s the same case with the same foregone
conclusion”.

“As a matter of legal and judicial principle,
nobody can be condemned twice for the same offence,” Sam Rainsy, who
currently lives in self-exile in Paris, said by email.

The
Municipal Court issued a summons on March 23 ordering Sam Rainsy to
appear in court to face charges brought under Articles 62 and 63 of the
UNTAC code.

In 2008, Hor Namhong filed a defamation lawsuit in
France over a passage of Sam Rainsy’s autobiography, Rooted in Stone,
which alleged that Hor Namhong headed the Boeung Trabek prison during
the Khmer Rouge reign.

Sam Rainsy was fined and last year lost his appeal.

The
Foreign Minister also filed suit in Cambodian courts in 2008 over a
speech by Sam Rainsy that year delivered at the Choeung Ek “killing
fields”, which referenced an alleged relationship between Hor Namhong
and the Khmer Rouge leadership.

Deputy court prosecutor Ek
Chheng Huot declined to comment yesterday and referred questions to
Judge Seng Neang, who could not be reached.

Kar Savuth, Hor Namhong’s lawyer, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The
latest case against the embattled opposition leader complicates his
appeal for a political settlement that would allow him to return to the
Kingdom ahead of upcoming elections in 2012 and 2013.

Sam Rainsy
faces a pair of jail terms totalling 12 years, handed down last year in
connection with a protest he staged at the Vietnamese border in 2009.
He was stripped of his parliamentary seat this month as a result of the
convictions.

Ou Virak, president of the Cambodian Centre for
Human Rights, said yesterday the charges were “mainly to pile up more
pressure on Sam Rainsy not to return”, but not necessarily an
indication that the government has ruled out a deal.

Sam Rainsy said “inevitable” political change in Cambodia would bring about a resolution.

“A
political solution depends on the political situation. There will
inevitably be an evolution in the political situation in Cambodia as
shown and announced by recent and ongoing developments worldwide
(Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria, etc),” Sam Rainsy said.

Phnom Penh Post
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Categories: Local News, Politic, Sam Rainsy
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