Visit our new website:

Appeal Court Upholds 20 Month Sentence for Sam Rainsy

  • Sun, 13 Aug 2017 01:12

The Appeal Court on Friday upheld a 20-month sentence against former CNRP president Sam Rainsy over his claim that the ruling party had orchestrated last year’s murder of popular political analyst Kem Ley.

The verdict on defamation and incitement charges moved forward in spite of the absence of both Mr. Rainsy—who went into self-imposed asylum in France in 2015—and his lawyer.

Sam Rainsy in France in January, in a photograph posted to his Facebook page.

“The court cannot wait or delay the hearing,” Presiding Judge Nhoung Thol said, citing a criminal code article that allows for a verdict in absentia. “The court has decided to uphold the municipal court verdict.”

In March, Mr. Rainsy was sentenced to the 20-month term and a fine of 10 million riel, or about $ 2,500, in addition to a symbolic request from Prime Minister Hun Sen for compensation of 100 riel, or about $ 0.025.

The case stems from the repeated claim by Mr. Rainsy that Kem Ley’s point-blank shooting in a Caltex gas station in July of last year was “an act of state-sponsored terrorism.”

Judge Thol also ordered that a video clip of an interview of Mr. Rainsy by Radio Free Asia in which he made the claim, as well as a screenshot of a speech in France in which it was allegedly reiterated, be shown to the court. Hun Sim Hak, an officer from the Interior Ministry’s technical and science department, confirmed it was Mr. Rainsy.

According to Mr. Hun Sen’s lawyer, Ky Tech, this confirmation incriminated Mr. Rainsy for having “exaggerated to the Cambodian people.”

“If the government or Samdech Hun Sen are the killer, where is Sam Rainsy’s evidence to prove his claims?” he asked.

Contacted later, Mr. Rainsy’s lawyer Sam Sokong said the judge had acted illegally by ruling on the Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentence without him and his client, as Mr. Rainsy had never received a court summons.

“We are unhappy with the Phnom Penh court sentence,” he said.

According to Mr. Rainsy, however, he and his lawyer had received a summons and decided that attending the hearing was futile.

“With this Kangaroo Court the verdict was a foregone conclusion and there was no need for my lawyer to waste his time,” he said in an email. “I maintain that the Hun Sen government was behind Kem Ley’s murder in broad daylight and its subsequent cover-up because nobody else would have been able to perpetrate this act of state terrorism whose patterns have been observed on too many occasions.”

“I made the accusation on my Facebook page where over 100,000 people shared my opinion through their ‘likes,’” he said. “It should be a lawsuit filed by Hun Sen against the public.”

Last week, a U.S. court ordered oil giant Chevron, which owns Caltex, to turn over documents and information relating to Kem Ley’s murder, in a move that Mr. Rainsy said could potentially clear his name in the defamation case.

(Additional reporting by Janelle Retka)

© 2017, The Cambodia Daily. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.

The Cambodia Daily


Popular Science

Related Stories

Exposed: Allegations of Cruelty and Criminality at K9 Cambodia
  • Sat, 18 Nov 2017 19:14

Posted on November 18, 2017 by Jack Laurenson Editor’s note: This article was originally published in The Khmer Times, and is being reprinte...

BBC Children in Need Appeal 2017: NI people give more than £900,000
  • Sat, 18 Nov 2017 17:24

People in Northern Ireland donate more than £900,000 to this year's BBC Children in Need appeal. BBC News - Northern Ireland

Will The Real Leo Clifton Please Stand Up
  • Sat, 18 Nov 2017 17:20

Posted on November 18, 2017 by Jack Laurenson We need to talk, once again, about the real Leo Clifton, now also going by the name Leander Royvo...

Cambodia’s Opposition CNRP May Appeal Dissolution Case to International Criminal Court
  • Sat, 18 Nov 2017 14:17

Cambodia’s opposition party may appeal to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to reverse a decision to dissolve it, one of the party’s deputy p...

China donates 9,130 Chinese books to schools in Cambodia
  • Sat, 18 Nov 2017 13:33

PHNOM PENHi1 4 The Chinese Embassy here on Monday donated 9,130 Chinese language books to five universities and schools in Cambodia. The beneficiaries...

Trump adds five conservatives to list of possible Supreme Court picks
  • Sat, 18 Nov 2017 11:58

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a move certain to please conservatives, President Donald Trump on Friday added five names to his list of candidates for a pr...

Court rules Hamburg bar cannot keep its name after Yoko Ono sues
  • Sat, 18 Nov 2017 11:51

A bar in Hamburg called ‘Yoko Mono’ can no longer keep its name, a regional court in the Hanseatic city ruled on Friday. The Local

‘Close shave:’ Russian astronomers visualize large asteroid flying past Earth next month (VIDEO)
  • Sat, 18 Nov 2017 08:21

A team of Russian astronomers has created a detailed visual scenario of what is likely to happen when a fairly large asteroid, called 3200 Phaethon, f...

Former Cambodia Daily reporter escorted from outside Supreme Court
  • Sat, 18 Nov 2017 06:02

Len Leng was standing outside the Supreme Court during the hearing over the dissolution of the CNRP, before she was escorted away by security perso...

Cut ties with Cambodian gov't, says exiled opposition leader
  • Sat, 18 Nov 2017 02:06

An exiled leader of Cambodia's political opposition said Thursday the international community should cut ties with Prime Minister Hun Sen's go...

Cambodia's Supreme Court Outlaws Main Opposition Party
  • Fri, 17 Nov 2017 22:37

Cambodia’s Supreme Court ruled to dissolve the main opposition party, effectively turning the country into the world’s newest one-party state and ...

Land rights organisation in Lango limbo
  • Fri, 17 Nov 2017 21:50

Protesters demonstrate against land rights NGO Equitable Cambodia in Phnom Penh in September. The Ministry of Interior cited their complaints in suspe...

News Categories