A Change of Guard

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Thursday 28 July 2016

BREAKING: Sam Rainsy found guilty in Samrin defamation suit

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy talks to the media after a meeting in Phnom Penh last year.  The self-exiled CNRP president was found guilty by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court today of defaming National Assembly president Heng Samrin.
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy talks to the media after a meeting in Phnom Penh last year. The self-exiled CNRP president was found guilty by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court today of defaming National Assembly president Heng Samrin. Pha Lina

BREAKING: Sam Rainsy found guilty in Samrin defamation suit
Thu, 28 July 2016 ppp
Niem Chheng and Ananth Baliga

Beleaguered CNRP leader Sam Rainsy was found guilty this morning of defaming National Assembly president Heng Samrin in a Facebook post last November.

The trial, which was over in the span of an hour, centered on a Facebook post in which Rainsy alleged that the Heng Samrin-led government of 1979 convicted the late King Norodom Sihanouk for being a traitor and sentenced him to death in a show trial.

Following a 10-minute deliberation, Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge Ros Piseth said Samrin’s complaint was consistent with Rainsy’s post and that the CNRP leader was guilty under Article 305 of the criminal code.

“Based on the facts and evidence, the court finds out that there is enough evidence against the accused, Sam Rainsy, for public defamation committed on Facebook page of Sam Rainsy on November, 17, 2015,” said Piseth.

Rainsy, who has been living in France in self-imposed exile since November and did not send legal representation to the trial, was ordered to pay 150 million riel, or $37,200, to Samrin and 10 million riel to the state. Rainsy already faces an arrest warrant in a separate defamation case brought by Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong.

The Facebook post consisted of text and a video of one of Sihanouk’s speeches. Though the prosecution requested the video be ignored, it was still played during the trial.

Deputy prosecutor Vong Bunvisoth said he agreed with Samrin’s complaint and asked the court to move for conviction.

“There is enough evidence on his Facebook page,” he said. “So, I agree with the charge and request the court to decide according to law.”

After court proceedings, Samrin’s lawyer, Ky Tech, told reporters that the fine did not match the seriousness of Rainsy’s crime. He also claimed that Rainsy’s post misled young people, who had commented on the post and now had a distorted view of history.

“The youth who did not know the history, now believe that there really was a trial [against Sihanouk],” he said. “So, it strongly affects the reputation of Samdech Heng Samrin, who had the top position during that time.”

“I will talk to Samdech Heng Samrin to see if he accepts [the verdict] or not. If not, we will go to appeal court to demand more compensation,” he added.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


The killers kept killing because they have never gotten punished.

In the past, the reactions from Khmer people condemning the killings of our Khmer heroes were swift, but last for a short period of time.

Khmer people must take some necessary actions demanding the autocratic regime of Ah Kouk Hun Sen to bring to justice the real killers and the mastermind behind the killing.

Here are some steps that we should take:

1- Give an ultimatum to the government to show the video captured during Kem Ley's killing in 10 days. What is the reason for hiding that shooting video?

2- After that 10 days, and if there is still no answer, we will start marching peacefully urging the government to find the real killers.

3- This is the right time that Khmer people must exert their concert efforts to accomplish a specific goal: find justice for our fallen Khmer heroes.

4- The PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATION will last until the government find the credible killers.

5- In this world, nothing is free. We must be ready to sacrifice our life if the government opts to suppress the demonstration violently.

6- We must stop allowing our Khmer heroes die in vain. We need to change the way we think:

- We used to ask the government to find the killers of Chea Vichea, Chhut Vuthy, etc... and we got no result. Then, Khmer people stayed quite by failing to step up their efforts to press the government to find the killers. We have been behaving like hay fire (Chhes dauch Phleung Chambeung heuy Rolut Ksuy).

- This time, we must ACT DIFFERENTLY if we want to see a DIFFERENT OUTCOME: the peaceful demonstration will last until the government finds the real credible killers and we must be ready to die to make this happen.

If we cannot accomplish just this one specific task (demonstration to find the killers), we must stop crying that Cambodia is controlling by Yuon. Just remember that Yuon had lost many soldiers to conquer Cambodia.

How come we don't want to lose any life to free Cambodia from Vietnam?
No country for coward people.

Dr. Kem Ley had sacrificed his life for Cambodia. Can we do something to find justice for him and also to deter the same killers from killing more Khmer heroes in the future?

Bun Thoeun