PHNOM PENH —
A lawyer representing Prime Minister Hun Sen was questioned in court on Friday over a defamation case filed by the premier last week against the leader of Cambodia’s opposition party.
The defamation claims were lodged against Cambodia National Rescue Party president Sam Rainsy over comments he made on Facebook after the daylight murder of prominent political analyst Kem Ley last month.
CNRP Senator Thak Lany was also hit with a similar charge for a speech she gave in Ratanakkiri province late last month, in which Hun Sen’s lawyer claims she said the prime minister was behind the killing.
Rainsy told VOA after the case was filed last week that he did not regret writing the Facebook post and went on to reiterate the same comments.
Deputy court prosecutor Ly Sophanna told reporters after Friday’s questioning that the investigation was ongoing.
Hun Sen’s lawyer, Ky Tech, said the prime minister “wants the law to find justice in order to prevent people who speak falsehoods and place blame on innocent people.”
According to Tech, Hun Sen has only requested a minor fine as a symbolic recognition of wrongdoing.
Lany is was due to be questioned on Monday while Rainsy, who is in self-imposed exile and faces a two-month prison term if he returns to Cambodia over a separate defamation ruling several years ago, is due in court on August 19.