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Court Opens Case in Opposition Assault Suit

The Kampot provincial court on Tuesday began proceedings in a suit against a military official brought by Sam Rainsy Party Deputy Secretary-General Mu Sochua.

A court prosecutor said he questioned Mu Sochua in court Tuesday morning, declining further comment.

Mu Sochua, who brought a suit against Brig. Gen. San Sman, who she claims assaulted her during a dispute in Kampot ahead of July's national election.

Mu Sochua said Tuesday she had filed three complaints against San Sman: assault, sexual harassment and attempted murder.

"My request is to urge the court to have a hearing in this case very soon," she said.

During an argument, "the army general assaulted Mu Sochua and her shirt became undone, leaving her half-naked in front of a crowd of men," the party said in a statement ahead of Tuesday's proceedings.

In Cambodian courts, a prosecutor determines whether a case goes on to an investigating judge. Kampot prosecutors must now question San Sman, according to procedure.

San Sman denied the accusation in a brief comment Tuesday.

"If I had rancor with her, it would be right to accuse me of attempted murder," he said. "But she and I never knew each other."

He called the case a "political issue" and declined further comment.