A French court has charged former opposition leader Sam Rainsy with defamation for claiming that Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered the killing of former National Police chief Hok Lundy.
Two separate complaints were filed by Hun Sen and Dy Vichea, the deputy National Police chief and a son of Lundy.
Rainsy, the self-proclaimed “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), lives in exile in France to avoid a slew of charges against him in the Kingdom on top of the defamation case in France.
Ky Tech, a lawyer representing the government, told The Post on Thursday that according to a letter received from lawyers in France, an investigating judge of the Paris criminal court decided on June 8 to charge Rainsy with defamation.
“Our Cambodian government lawyers received this news according to a clearly stamped letter in French about the charge against Sam Rainsy, and this is true,” he said.
The one-page letter translated from French said the charge against Rainsy covered what was mentioned in Hun Sen’s complaint dated August 20 last year. The letter further stated the prosecution of Rainsy in Paris is inevitable.
“A French investigating judge found that there is sufficient evidence that Sam Rainsy committed the crime as accused. Rainsy didn’t oppose the charge, according to the letter,” Tech said.
Hun Sen and Vichea brought the two separate legal cases against Rainsy with the French courts after he wrote online that the prime minister killed Lundy by ordering the explosion of a helicopter that Lundy boarded from Phnom Penh to Svay Rieng in 2008.
Rainsy also alleged that Lundy’s son Vichea and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng were planning to take revenge on Hun Sen.
Rainsy told The Post on Thursday that he has not responded to the ruling.
However, he claimed Hun Sen had fallen into his trap and that the case gave him a “golden opportunity” to reveal the criminal acts of Hun Sen and his family in front of an independent court.
Rainsy alleged that the criminal acts he would reveal in court include the March 30, 1997, hand-grenade attacks on a demonstration in front of the National Assembly in Phnom Penh.
His revelations will also include the alleged secret killing of beloved classical dancer Piseth Pilika in 1999 by Hun Sen’s wife Bun Rany, and the killings of trade union leader Chea Vichea, forestry activist Chut Wutty and political analyst Kem Ley.
“In fact, this complaint by Hun Sen brings us hope in our struggle to end impunity in Cambodia,” he claimed.
Government spokesperson Phay Siphan said what Rainsy wants is to distort the truth to mislead the public. He said the French court’s decision is based on facts.
“Sam Rainsy is a politician who has no shame. He only distorts the truths and fabricates lies to make [people] confused. That’s his skill,” he said.