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Court to Announce Verdict Against Opposition Leader in Facebook Case


FILE - Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy delivers a speech to members of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) at a hotel in metro Manila, Philippines June 29, 2016.

Sam Rainsy wrote on Facebook on Thursday that he thought the case was politically motivated and carried out by a “puppet court”.

​The leader of Cambodia’s opposition will receive a verdict in a case related to a Facebook post last year that drew criticism from the government, a court has said.

Sam Rainsy, the president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, was charged over the publication on his Facebook page of part of a map of the Cambodia-Vietnam border, which the government claimed was a forgery intended to incite the public and has already seen an opposition senator jailed for seven years.

The map purported to show that Vietnam had encroached on Cambodian territory as agreed in a 1979 treaty.

Two of Rainsy’s aides, Ung Chungleang and Sambath Satya, are also charged as accomplices.

The two men have since reportedly claimed asylum in France, where Rainsy also resides since going into self-imposed exile last year after a warrant was issued for his arrest in a separate case.

Sam Sokong, Rainsy’s lawyer, said his client did not expect to receive a verdict of not guilty.

Rainsy wrote on Facebook on Thursday that he thought the case was politically motivated and carried out by a “puppet court”.

Ly Sophana, a court spokesman, said on Friday that the court would issue a verdict in accordance with the law.

“The defendants have the right to appeal the court’s decision following proceedure and should avoid making comments which could be seen to influence the court’s decision making,” he said.

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