A Change of Guard

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Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Sam Rainsy’s interview with The Cambodia Daily

29 December 2009


On 28 December 2009, the following questions from The Cambodia Daily (Q) were answered by Sam Rainsy (A).

Q. I understand this morning was your scheduled court appearance in Svay Rieng. Your attorney told us yesterday he would appear in court in your place. I am wondering if you have heard any news from the meeting.

A. See attached document. The handwritten annotation is from the judge. My lawyer took the initiative to ask for a delay in court appearance. The judge refused today to grant the delay. Actually, I don't care about the delay. The sooner the better. We can now better see the real face of the Cambodian authorities.

Q. What will happen now that you have missed your court date?

A. An order to the police to forcefully bring me to court is imminent.

Q. Have you been in contact with your lawyer? What will you do if you are found guilty?

Will you remain overseas if so?

A. No doubt, I will be found guilty. The verdict is known in advance like with any kangaroo court. But my only crime was my doing my duty as a Member of Parliament in helping powerless and distressed people. Justice cannot be rendered by and before such a court. I will seek justice by other (political and diplomatic) means. I don't mean justice for Sam Rainsy, but justice for countless Cambodian farmers who are victims of land confiscation because of either internal or external reasons. On top of losing their land, some of those farmers are being jailed because they dared protest the first injustice.

Q. Have you heard of any other witnesses missing their court appearances out of fear of being arrested?

A. Yes, there are at least three of them, not only witnesses but also and above all victims of land grab. I am closely following their cases.

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