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Senate Debates Stripping Opposition Member of Immunity


Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) members Chiv Kata, Thak Lany and Mu Sochua (L to R) walk during a protest in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, November 16, 2009.

Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) members Chiv Kata, Thak Lany and Mu Sochua (L to R) walk during a protest in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, November 16, 2009.

Thak Lany has been charged with defamation by Hun Sen after she allegedly made comments that connected Hun Sen with the murder of popular political analyst Kem Ley.

The Senate on Tuesday announced that it would hold a meeting on Wednesday to determine whether to strip an opposition senator of her parliamentary immunity.

Thak Lany, a Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) senator, has been charged with defamation by Prime Minister Hun Sen after she allegedly made comments in July that connected Hun Sen with the murder of popular political analyst Kem Ley.

Um Sarith, spokesman for the Senate, said 13 senators, including one SRP member, would consider the request, which was made earlier this month by the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.

“But for her case, it is a criminal offense, but it is not obvious according to the court letters. Thus, we need a procedure to remove her immunity and the court will then take the procedure further,” he said.

Hun Sen also filed a complaint against opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party president Sam Rainsy after he posted similar comments to his Facebook page following Kem Ley’s murder.

Rainsy, who is in self-imposed exile, has since repeated and stood by his comments.

Sor Chandeth, an opposition senator, said Lany had gone into hiding and the party expected the result to be a foregone conclusion.

“In principle, it will go further because the CPP has more forces in the permanent committee in the senate,” he said.

Lany could not be reached for comment, however, Sam Sok Kong, her lawyer, said he expected the law to be followed, but declined to comment on the possible outcome of the meeting.

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