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Rainsy ignores summons as Sonando fails to appear

Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy gives an interview on the French television network TV5 Monde last month. Photo supplied
Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy gives an interview on the French television network TV5 Monde last month. Photo supplied

Rainsy ignores summons as Sonando fails to appear

Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy – who is currently in self-imposed exile to avoid a host of politically tinged convictions – ignored a summons yesterday in yet another case filed at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

Vong Pheakdey, a lawyer for the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, had filed a complaint against Rainsy following a Facebook post in which the ex-president of the now-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party urged the armed forces not to “shoot and kill innocent people”, even if ordered to do so.

Sam Sokong, defence lawyer for Sam Rainsy, said he had gone to court yesterday and requested copies of the case file documents. “We will then submit evidence,” he said.

Prosecutor Seang Sok said he would “proceed with the case according the procedure”, but referred questions to municipal court spokesperson Ly Sophana, who could not be reached.

Rainsy yesterday stood by his statement, saying on Twitter that he continued “to appeal to the armed forces not to obey any order from any dictator to shoot at and kill innocent demonstrating citizens”.

In another opposition-related case, Beehive Radio Director Mam Sonando failed to appear at court yesterday for questioning as the first witness in the “treason” case against Kem Sokha, another former CNRP president who was jailed shortly before the party’s dissolution at the behest of the government.

In a letter published on Tuesday, Sonando said he would not appear, citing a medical check-up in France that would be finished by February 2.

“I’d like to apologise for being unable to appear as scheduled,” the letter reads.

Sonando had previously said he believed the summons was a trap to arrest him.

Additional reporting by Leonie Kijewski

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