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Opposition Lawmaker Summoned to Court

Kampot province parliamentarian Mu Sochua, who is engaged in a reciprocal defamation case against Hun Sen, was summoned to municipal court Wednesday.

The opposition lawmaker filed suit last month claiming statements made by the prime minister during 2008 elections were degrading and defaming. Hun Sen filed a countersuit.

Wednesday’s summons was for questioning related to Hun Sen’s suit.

“If we take responsibility for what we have done, we dare to come,” Mu Sochua told reporters outside the court Wednesday. “I came to the court today because I want to tell the court that Prime Minister Hun Sen insulted my reputation.”

Hun Sen “affected the honor of Khmer women,” she said. “I want Phnom Penh court to summon Prime Minister Hun Sen too.”

Mu Sochua’s summons came as an opposition journalist was also called into court.

Hang Chakra, director of the Khmer Mchas Srok newspaper, was brought in for questioning after he ran stories accusing Council Minister Sok An of involvement in corruption and praising Hun Sen for “destroying” corrupt officials under Sok An.

Sok An is a deputy prime minister and one of the most powerful officials in government. He oversees matters concerning the Khmer Rouge tribunal and oil exploration, among others.

Hang Chakra told reporters Wednesday his stories were based on evidence, and he accused the court of bias and political influence.