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AFP
August 22, 2019

Cambodian PM sues political foe in French courts

World

AFP
August 22, 2019

PHNOM PENH: Cambodia´s leader is suing a long time political opponent in a French court for defamation, the lawyer who filed the complaint said Wednesday.

Opposition figure Sam Rainsy, a French citizen, accused prime minister Hun Sen of plotting the 2008 death of the police commissioner in a helicopter crash, according to the lawsuit which will be heard in France.

The lawsuit is a rare legal challenge outside of Cambodia, where rights groups say the courts are controlled by the ruling party. "Mr Sam Rainsy, on his Facebook account, had written unacceptable things about the prime minister," lawyer Luc Brossollet told AFP.

"We want the French authorities to condemn Sam Rainsy for defamation." Rainsy, who lives in self-exile in France to avoid numerous charges he says are politically motivated, is the founder of a now-dissolved Cambodian opposition party.

Hun Sen has ruled Cambodia with an iron first for 34 years and has long warred with Rainsy, who co-founded the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP). The party performed well in 2013 elections but was dissolved by the Supreme Court ahead of the 2018 vote, which Hun Sen´s ruling Cambodian People´s Party swept.

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