Friday, June 25, 2010

Sam Rainsy loses Lawsuit against the Cambodian Foreign Minister


H.E. Hor Namhong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has announced his victory of defamation case against Sam Rainsy, His victory announcement of defamation case against Sam Rainsy was made during a press conference on June 15th at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Phnom Penh.

The Deputy Prime Minister said that the French Court has made a right decision and because he is an innocent person who was defamed by the opposition party, Leader Sam Rainsy.

“I am happy that the Court’s decision has upheld a defamation conviction against Sam Rainsy as he called me a ‘criminal’. I am also pleased as the French Appeal Court found justice while regarding me,” he told reporters at the press conference. “Sam Rainsy accused me of being one of the headmen of the Khmer Rouge’s Boeung Trabek’s prison which was one of the notorious Khmer Rouge’s Re-Education Camps in Phnom Penh.

Sam Rainsy also accused me of being a criminal of the Khmer Rouge regime but in fact i was also a victim and a innocent person who lived under the this terror and the killing field’s regime, he said, adding that he had about 30 relatives who were killed during the Khmer Rouge’s terror regime between 1975 to 1979.

“I think that Sam Rainsy’s allegation has seriously damaged my reputation and this issue is not about freedom of expression. He accused me of being a criminal,” he said.

On the 20th of May 2010, the French Appeal Court opened a hearing for Sam Rainsy’s case, which stems from passages included in Sam Rainsy’s 2008 autobiography – titled Rooted in Stone – alleging that the Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong led the notorious Khmer Rouge Boeung Trabek “re-education camp”. The camp held diplomats and government officials led by Lon Nol, some of whom were sent to S-21 prison or Tuol Sleng prison in Phnom Penh for torture and questioning.

Relating to his compensation, H.E. Hor Namhong said that he was not interested in the payment and he asked only for only one Euro in compensation from Mr. Sam Rainsy.

“I did not want money from Mr. Sam Rainsy and I asked only for one Euro in compensation,” he said. “I think that just one Euro would be enough for my honour.”

Deputy Prime Minister emphasized that besides filing his complaint against Sam Rainsy at the French Court, he has also filed a similar complaint to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, also in 2008, but so far no action has been taken on the case.

Sam Rainsy now is staying in a self-imposed exile in France after receiving in January a two-year jail term from the Svay Rieng provincial court for his activities in uprooting border markers in October 2009 along the Vietnamese border.

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