Cambodian analyst arrested on charge of defaming premier

Cambodian analyst arrested on charge of defaming premier

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — A Cambodian political analyst was arrested Friday based on a criminal complaint by Prime Minister Hun Sen that he had defamed him in a radio interview.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court accepted charges of defamation and inciting chaos against Kim Sok and put him in pretrial detention, said its spokesman, Ly Sophana. He could face up to two years in prison if convicted. Hun Sen is also seeking $502,500 in compensation.

Kim Sok last week gave an interview to the Cambodian-language service of U.S.-funded Radio Free Asia that Hun Sen felt implied his government was behind the killing last year of another political analyst and critic of the government, Kem Ley. The trial for the lone suspect is set to begin next month.

Hun Sen’s government in the past year has put increasing legal pressure on its critics and political opponents, keeping them tied up in court, sending them fleeing into exile, or sometimes jailing them. The courts are widely considered to be under the sway of Hun Sen and his ruling Cambodian People’s Party

Nest week, the National Assembly is expected to pass a law that will restrict political parties and would dissolve them if they violate the rules.

These actions by Hun Sen and his party are seen as an attempt to shore up their strength ahead of local elections this year and a general election in 2018.

Hun Sen has been in power for three decades and has announced his intention not to step down. The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party mounted an unexpectedly strong challenge in the 2013 election.

About 200 supporters joined Kim Sok as he walked about 5 kilometres (3 miles) to answer his summons to the court. He told reporters he was not scared by Hun Sen or the prospect of prison, especially if an unjust law was applied against him.

Information Minister Khieu Kanharith, a long-time Hun Sen loyalist, said on his Facebook page that Kim Sok’s remarks could not be tolerated because the ruling party’s reputation had been impugned by the suggestion that it was involved in murder.

Sopheng Cheang, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Reel Reviews: A shallower Deadpool

We say, “It is more of the same for Deadpool 2.”

Kelowna Vegan Festival takes over the Rotary Centre

The plant based creations stem from wanting to create a product that brings people together

UPDATE: West Kelowna fire deemed suspicious, crews dousing hot spots

Boucherie fire quiet overnight, mop-up continues, while evacuees have returned home.

Where to find the best ingredients for a vegan charcuterie board in the Okanagan

It’s warming up, pair your summer whites with a vegan charcuterie creation

Airbnb hosts earning millions in the Okanagan

The Okanagan was among the list of three Canadian wine markets.

Trans Mountain pipeline: Is it worth the risk?

Concerns range from the threat of an oil spill to the impact of tanker traffic on wildlife

Wildfire sparked north of Merritt, estimated 8 hectares

BC Wildfire Service is responding to the fire near Chattaway Lake FSR 27 kilometres north of Merritt

Call for artists for upcoming South Okanagan exhibition

The Penticton Art Gallery is inviting artists from across the globe to submit artworks

B.C. to spend $181M to create 200 general practitioner jobs

Jobs will go to new medical school graduates

Vernon company wins Ozone best production

Powerhouse Theatre’s Calendar Girls will move on to the Theatre BC Mainstage Festival

Host AquaJets fly at long course invitational

Kelowna swim club wins team title at annual spring meet at H2O

Federal leaders trade barbs about India trip at press gallery dinner

Justin Trudeau’s infamous trip to India earlier this year was the focus of many of the jabs

Most Read