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Appeals Court Upholds Fines for Mu Sochua

The Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld a lower court’s decision to fine opposition lawmaker Mu Suchua in a defamation suit brought by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Mu Sochua was ordered to pay $4,000 in fines and damages to the premier, who had countersued her after she accused him of derogatory remarks in a public speech in April.

Mu Sochua told reporters outside the court the verdict did not represent “Khmer justice.”

“Khmer people, as well as the international community, have acknowledged that the court system in Cambodia has plenty of political pressure,” she said.

Ky Tech, Hun Sen’s lawyer, called the decision acceptable and fair.

Chan Saveth, a monitor for the rights group Adhoc, said the courts had not given Mu Sochua a chance to respond to her case.

To the international community, it will appear that the Cambodian courts are under the influence of the executive branch, he added.