CAMBODIAN COURT ORDERS EXILED EX-OPPOSITION LEADER TO PAY 1 MLN USD TO PM IN DEFAMATION CASE

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, A Cambodian court ordered exiled ex-opposition leader, Sam Rainsy, to pay one million U.S. dollars in compensation, to Cambodian Prime Minister, Samdech Techo Hun Sen, in a defamation case.

Hun Sen filed a defamation lawsuit against Sam Rainsy, former president of the now-defunct Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), after Sam Rainsy accused him of giving one million U.S. dollars to social media celebrity, Thy Sovantha, to attack the then-CNRP.

In the lawsuit, the prime minister demanded a compensation of one million U.S. dollars from Sam Rainsy.

"After examining document and evidence, the court found Sam Rainsy guilty of defaming Prime Minister, Samdech Techo Hun Sen and ordered him to pay four billion riel (one million U.S. dollars) to the prime minister," Phnom Penh Municipal Court presiding judge, Heng Sokna, read a verdict after a two-hour hearing.

Hun Sen warned that he would ask the court to freeze Sam Rainsy's property, including the headquarters of the dissolved CNRP, for auction if he won the case.

Sam Rainsy, 68, has been living in self-imposed exile in France since Nov, 2015, to avoid at least eight-year-prison sentence for defamation and incitement cases.

On Nov 16, the country's Supreme Court dissolved the CNRP after Sam Rainsy's successor, Kem Sokha, was arrested on Sept 3, and charged with treason for conspiring with a foreign power in an attempt to overthrow the government.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK