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Court To Request Suspension of Lawmaker’s Immunity

Phnom Penh Municipal Court is prepared to ask the National Assembly to suspend the immunity of an opposition parliamentarian embroiled in a defamation suit by the prime minister, a lawyer said Friday.

The Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker, Mu Sochua, filed suit against Hun Sen in April, alleging degrading remarks in the 2008 election campaign. Hun Sen countersued against the accusation. The court has dropped the suit against Hun Sen, but it is continuing its case against Mu Sochua. Civic groups have called for both to drop their cases.

“The prosecutor has requested the National Assembly to suspend Mu Sochua’s immunity, and the request was signed by deputy prosecutor Sok Roeun,” Ky Tech, Hun Sen’s lawyer, said Friday.

Sok Roeun declined comment Friday. Mu Sochua said she had not yet seen a court request to suspend her immunity.

Ny Chakrya, an investigator for the rights group Adhoc, said both suits were undertaken for “political interests.”

“We should not take political items to the court system, affecting the independence of the court system,” he said.