Cambodian Journalists Alliance Association

Rainsy summoned a second time over Sar Kheng complaint

Former opposition party leader Sam Rainsy speaks to media at the National Assembly during a meeting, Phnom Penh, 19 March 2015. Panha Chhorpoan

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has summoned former opposition leader Sam Rainsy to be questioned over his claim that Interior Minister Sar Kheng supported Prime Minister Hun Sen’s alleged plot to bomb a helicopter carrying the late National Police commissioner.

It is the second summons issued after Rainsy failed to appear before court for questioning on July 31.

Rainsy, who currently lives in exile overseas, is facing multiple complaints related to criticisms he has made on Facebook.

Most recently, Kheng filed a complaint against Rainsy after the latter alleged that Hun Sen planted a bomb on board the helicopter of the late National Police Commissioner Hok Lundy.

The latest summons was signed by deputy prosecutor Seng Kim Lak on Monday last week for Rainsy to appear at the court on August 8 at 8:30 a.m. The summons was made in response to a complaint filed by Kheng’s lawyers Hak Seakly, Pich Sorya and Chao Bunhuon, it said.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Kuch Kimlong said yesterday that if Rainsy again failed to appear, the court would issue a warrant for his arrest.

In his complaint filed last month, Kheng said Rainsy was trying to damage the unity of government leaders and to incite disquiet. He also said that Rainsy disrupted political stability and peace.

Kheng is demanding $1 million in damages from Rainsy.

Kheng said when he filed his complaint that it was the first time he had ever sued anyone. He filed the complaint against Rainsy in order to urge politicians to follow better standards of conduct, he said.

“This complaint is also in order to demand justice for me and other victims who were slandered and accused by Sam Rainsy,” he said.

Sam Sokong, a lawyer who has defended Rainsy in the past, said he had not received any request from Rainsy to defend the case.

“He has told me before that he would not request a defense lawyer if the case is politically motivated,” Sokong said.